Every Christmas, I bake a variety of items that reflect on my family’s traditions. My father’s Hungarian side contributed to a lot of our family’s food traditions. One of the more popular pastries in my family is Kifli. This crescent-shaped pastry was usually filled with a sweet walnut filling that is spiked with a lemon flavour. I love that variety and make hundreds of them every December.
But this year I wanted to do a slight twist that still lent respect to the original. Every Friday I go to my neighbourhood bakery for bread and other assorted baked goods. I get myself some kind of sweet treat to sit and enjoy with a delicious Dutch coffee. In Dutch, the word for coffee is “koffie.” Upon first glance it looks like “kifli” to my Hungarian-influenced brain. So I decided to blend the two ideas into a coffee-flavoured kifli with coffee in the walnut filling and coffee in the powdered sugar that covers the exterior!! Such a good idea. I’m not usually one to boast, but seriously, this treat is unreal!! Yum!!
Coffee Kifli (Hungarian Crescent Pastry):
For the dough:
3 cups flour (I use a whole grain heritage wheat flour like red fife or spelt flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
For the Coffee Walnut Filling:
2-1/2 cups walnuts
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup espresso or strong coffee
2 tsp very finely ground coffee
For the Coffee “Snow”:
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp ground coffee
1 Tbsp corn starch
For the dough, in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Gradually work in the softened butter until the mixture is crumbly. Whisk the eggs with the milk in a medium bowl and work into the butter-crumbled dry mixture. Knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth and no longer sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
To make the filling, add the walnuts, maple syrup, espresso and ground coffee to a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until it achieves the texture of a chunky peanut butter. If it’s still quite dry add a tablespoon or two of water to achieve the desired consistency. Set aside.
To make the Coffee “Snow,” place the sugar, coffee and corn starch in a blender and purée until a very fine powder is achieved. Set aside in a resealable freezer bag.
Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the prepared dough from the refrigerator and split into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion out into a large rectangle about 1/4cm (1/8″) thick. cut into rough 5cm/2″ squares.
Add a teaspoon of filling to the centre of each rolled square of dough. Roll the dough around the filling from one corner, diagonally, to the other corner making a tube shape. Pinch the seams closed, making tapered points on each end and bend the tube shape into a crescent shape. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottom. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on cooling racks.
To serve, add half a dozen or so baked Coffee Kifli to the freezer bag filled with Coffee “Snow,” close the bag and shake to coat the pastry completely. Serve immediately.
I generally only do the sugar coating to serve so coat only the amount you need for a given moment. The uncovered, baked pastries freeze beautifully, Makes about 5 dozen.