For years I looked at those women in the supermarket whose carts were piled high with margarine, sugar and flour with a mixture of awe and disgust. What could one possibly do with 12 sacks of flour, a dozen bars of margarine and enough white sugar to cause permament tooth decay and ADHD?
Then I became one of those women. Not quite, but almost. With my son’s Bar Mitzvah literally around the corner, my at home bakery is working at full speed. In honor of his coming of age, we will be sponsoring a Kiddush, an after services reception. You know. that pre lunch desserts buffet that can make you wonder why you bothered to make your own cholent ?
In my freezer are trays of brownies, cherry and blueberry bars, chocolate chip cookies and the cookie that I am featuring today, kipfels. Do I deserve a prize or what?
A kipfel is a funny word to wrap around one’s tongue, Kipfel? Not kipper or kichel? But that is the name of an all too little known Viennese nut drop cookie which is about as heady as a cookie can be without adding any illegal ingredients. Sweet in a subtle nutty way,melt in the mouth kipfels are bliss for the taste buds. And they are surprsingly easy to make.
Here’s the recipe adapted from Marcie Goldman’s Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking
1 cup (2 sticks or one Israeli bar) of butter or margarine. I used margarine because we’ll be serving a meat chulent at the kiddush and I don’t want to mess anybody up but between me you and the lampost, butter is always tastier
3/4 cup suagr
2 cups flour
1 cup finely ground nuts. Goldman suggests toasted pecans or walnuts. My sister in law, the person who introduced me to kipfels says that her recipe calls for hazelnuts or almonds. I used toasted ground almonds.
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 C
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cream the butter or marg and the sugar. Add in flour, nuts and vanilla until you have a stiff dough. Put it in the fridge for a bit–a half hour. I left mine in the fridge over night.
Then break off little pieces and work them into balls or crescents. This is tedious work, the kind of thing some children absolutely love to do. Find one of them to help you.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until honey colored.
Cool, then roll in confectioner’s sugar or eat as is
Here’s what they look like without the confectioner’s sugar dusting.