Vanilla Kifli is something my Dad makes every year at Christmas time so this is a family recipe although my Dad admits that the original recipe on which this is based came from a book or a magazine or somewhere that he can’t quite remember. He does clarify though that the recipe below is his adaptation and it has changed over the years as he has refined it to suit.
A bit of searching on the internet also confirms what he says with regards to its possible origins. That is, that ‘vaníliás kifli’ as it is made and known in Hungary, from where my father was born and therefore a place to which I not only have great affinity but also to which I share my nationality (with pride I might add) are thought of as a traditional Hungarian sweet biscuit. Although not to be confused with kifli which are a crescent shaped pastry (just to confuse the matter even further). However, I note that many other countries make similar, if not identical biscuits. The Greeks call them ‘Kourabiedes’. Other nationalities may have other names. Nonetheless, I don’t want to involve myself in some ‘blogging incident’ with regards to its origins, only to say that they are made with a sense of tradition in Hungary and as a result, we eat them every year at Christmas time and throughout the early New Year, along with Beigli and various other treats. Here is the vanilla kifli recipe that I have grown up with.
100g caster sugar (or icing sugar as Dad uses)
160g ground almonds or 2 cups ground walnuts
310g plain flour
Vanilla flavoured icing sugar
Makes 36 biscuits
Cream the butter and the sugar. Blend in almonds (or walnuts) and flour. Take small pieces of the mixture and roll between the palms of the hands, then form into crescents (my father squeezes the dough gently in his fist thus making the shape that they are, still crescent shaped but resembling something of a ‘knuckle-duster’). Place on greased baking trays and bake in a moderately slow oven (160oC), for 20 minutes. Cool until biscuits are barely warm then toss in icing sugar. To make vanilla sugar, mix vanilla sugar with icing sugar to taste.