Homemade Kieflies Recipe - Great for the Holidays!
A Family Recipe
If you're looking for a deliciously sweet but not too sweet pastry, then kieflies are perfect for you! This recipe has been in my family for several generations. I have been baking kieflies with my mother for quite a few years and continue baking them on my own, now that I live across the country. I will let you know ahead of time that the baking process is long and tedious, but the end result is definitely worth it! Throughout the recipe, I will include some personal tips that will help speed up the process or make it a little easier.
Ingredients needed (for 50 balls):
- 1/2 pound of butter (I suggest sticks)
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla or vanilla extract
- 3 cups of flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 box of powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts or pecans
The baking process is a 2 day process. You will need to prepare the kieflie balls on day 1 and let them chill overnight.
Day 1 - Kieflie Balls
- In 2 smaller mixing bowls, you will need to crack 6 eggs SEPARATING the yolks from the whites. I suggest cracking the eggs as usual, being careful to catch the yolks completely in one side of the eggshell. Carefully continue pouring the yolks from one half of the eggshell to the other until you have poured all of the egg whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Save the egg whites until day 2; cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.)
- Mix the following ingredients together in a large mixing bowl: butter, egg yolks only, vanilla, flour, salt, and whipping cream.
- Here is the messy part: use your hands to knead the ingredients together until well mixed.
- Once you have mixed the dough, you will need to roll into smaller balls (about the size of ping pong balls). Warning: if you haven't kneaded the dough together well enough, then the balls will not roll easily - they will crumble. To roll, simply pinch pieces of the dough off and roll around between the palms of your hands. Remember, the recipe calls for about 50 balls.
- Continue rolling the kieflie balls until the dough is gone. You can store them in a covered container and chill them over night.
- The rest of day 1 is clean up; the rest of the work is tomorrow!
Day 2 - Making the Filling and Baking the Kieflies
- Preheat over to about 250-300°F (depending on your oven).
- To make the filling: Beat the egg yolks from yesterday until they are stiff. (I usually just use a whisk.) Then, pour in powdered sugar and chopped nuts. Mix together well.
- Now to roll the kieflie balls, I dust a cutting board with flour. (This will help prevent the dough from sticking when you start rolling.) Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball at a time. Warning: if you roll the balls out too thin, they will crack when you bake them. I suggest leaving them just thick enough that you can't see through them or feel your fingers through them.
- After you roll out each ball, scoop about a teaspoon of filling onto the flattened ball. Use your fingers to carefully roll the dough around the filling into a cresant shape,then pinch the ends together tightly to prevent the filling from oozing out during baking. Warning: do not overfill them, or they will overflow.
- After you have filled and rolled each ball into their kieflie shape, place them on a baking sheet. (I usually cover my baking sheet with aluminum foil just in case the filling spills out when they're baking; this way I won't have to worry about washing and drying the baking sheet each time around - I can just throw the foil away and recover.)
- When you've filled a baking sheet, bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the heat of your oven. When you pull them out, scoop them onto a plate or in a tin/container and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Do this while they're still hot so the dough will soak up the sugar; this gives them more flavor.
- Repeat steps 3-6 until all kieflie balls have been rolled out, filled, rerolled, and baked.
Important tips through baking process:
- Keep sprinkling your cutting board with flour when you're rolling out the balls.
- Don't forget to sprinkle with powdered sugar when you pull them out of the oven, and consider resprinkling later when they've cooled if you're gifting or serving them to others.
- If this is your first time baking, I suggest watching at least your first batch in the oven before you get to step 7 and repeat the other steps. Once you feel like you have the right timing and oven temperature, you can usually complete that 7th step while each batch is in the oven.