Kifle—Balkan Cookies Recipe

As a result of the tender outer cookie and luscious filling, it’s no wonder that kifle, or jam-filled crescents, are a favorite dessert among kids and adults alike. That’s why a kifle recipe is a must in every household.

There are several names for these delicate pastries: kifle, kifla, kipfel, kipferl, and even croissants! Though most commonly filled with apricot jam or walnut filling, you can use any flavor you prefer. 

Balkan Kifle is like something from a fairy-tale, magical and surprising. It’s full of tradition and boises all the senses. They are good, either cold or warm, and these Crackling Kifle are a great appetizer with wine. This article covers the easiest Kifle recipe, so tune in!


What Is Kifle?

Have you ever tasted kifle? It’s a very sweet and flaky treat, combining several different elements. First, it has an outer cookie layer that’s baked to perfection.

There is also a creamy, vanilla-flavored cream filling that can be flavored with seasonal berries or other fruity flavors.

Finally, the upper halves of croissants are known by their distinctive rolled jelly-like edges.

Kifle Origin

These traditional cookies hail from Yugoslavia and occur in the form of kifli or kifle. The name comes from Turkish kiflik, which means “crescent-shaped,” and is also the source of the Czech word rohlik, which means baguette. 

They are known as crescent cookies in many places. Various fillings can be used for kifle, including jam, hazelnut paste, and chocolate. 

Kifle Recipe

They are an irresistible dessert with their delicate, flaky pastry, tart jam or another filling, and sweet sugar coating. This recipe can easily feed a crowd because it requires a big batch. 

Furthermore, any leftovers freeze really well, so you can pull them out to enjoy with afternoon tea if you have guests over.

You should keep the butter cold when making butter pastries in order to achieve a nice flaky result. To mix the butter and flour better, shred the butter cold and work quickly, not handling too much with your hands.


Kifle Recipe Ingredients

The Dough:

  • 450g / 1lb cold butter
  • 480g / 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 large beaten egg yolks
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Nut Filling:

  • 120ml / 1/2 cup water
  • 130g / 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 450g / 1lb finely ground walnuts
  • Garnish: Confectioners’ sugar

Other Filling Options:

Fruit jams and pastes: plum, apricot, and quince jams are good choices. They are slightly tart and firmer when heated, so they do not melt. Strawberries are less suitable.

Nutella: perfect for chocolate lovers!

Kifle Recipe Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Make The Dough

To make pie dough, mix butter into flour in a large bowl. Stir in eggs and lemon juice and mix until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overwork it.

  • Refrigerate Overnight

Put the dough in the refrigerator overnight, cutting it into eighths and wrapping it in plastic.

  • Make The Filling

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in zest and let simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Mix ground nuts with cooled syrup until well combined.

  • Shape And Prepare To Bake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread parchment paper on a sheet pan. Make walnut-sized dough balls, work with a few at a time and leave the rest in the fridge, roll thinly and place one teaspoon of filling at one end and roll up, curving slightly.

After cutting the dough into eighths, work with one at a time while leaving the rest in the refrigerator, then roll out into a thin circle. Slice into wedges as if making a pie. Roll each wedge from the widest end to the point, and place one teaspoon of the filling at the widest end.

  • Bake

Lay the crescents seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. After this point, the cookies can be rolled in powdered sugar while still warm or cooled completely on a wire rack and then dusted with powdered sugar. The choice is yours.

As the sugar melts on top of the hot cookies, the former method produces a slight glaze. In either case, chill thoroughly before storing tightly covered. Cookies last for many days.


Kifle Recipe Serving Suggestions

There is no celebration without kiflice, no matter if it’s a birthday party, wedding, shower, or anything else! It is a common practice to find these jam-filled crescent cookies at all Croatian parties and they are almost always devoured first!

The hard part here is to choose which filling you love the most, but that’ll be your little secret!

Watch how your family and friends are amazed by these mouthwatering cookies when served warm or at room temperature as an after-dinner coffee companion or afternoon snack with a cup of tea.

Looking for more recipes? Check these Balkan food guides:

  1. Burek recipe
  2. Palacinke recipe
  3. Balkan pita
  4. Ajvar recipe
  5. Dolma recipe
  6. Pljeskavica recipe
  7. Piftija Recipe
  8. Shopska salad recipe
  9. Krempita recipe
  10. Tavce gravce
  11. Struklji recipe
  12. Moussaka recipe
  13. Tarator recipe
  14. Trilece recipe
  15. Qifqi recipe
  16. Kajmak recipe
  17. Banitsa recipe
  18. Sach recipe
  19. Sarma recipe
  20. rafioli recipe
  21. gyro recipe
  22. Krofne recipe
  23. Goulash Recipe
  24. Lokum Recipe
  25. Paprikash Recipe
  26. Punjene Paprike Recipe
  27. Cobanac Recipe 

And our massive country guides:

  1. Traditional Croatian Food
  2. Serbian Food Guide
  3. Macedonian Food Guide

Finally, our curated Balkan food guides:

  1. Balkan Food Guide
  2. Balkan Meat Guide
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