Kiffles are a local favorite when it comes to cookies, particularly Christmas cookies. The Kiffle Kitchen outside of Bath, PA has made their reputation on their outstanding kiffles, now sold on line! I used to enjoy them but never took the time to make them in the past. Now that I can’t eat gluten anymore I thought, why not bake some gf kiffles? They are a sort of local Ukrainian specialty so finding them in a cookbook and also gf was a challenge. Luckily, early this year I purchased “Gluten-Free Baking Classics The Heirloom Collection” by Annalise G. Roberts. It was published in 2014 and I bought it brand spanking new – not one miss in anything I have baked from it so far. Page 170 had the answer to my search; Rugelach, Kifles, and Kolaki.
I got my courage up and made a batch of kiffles (the preferred local spelling) on Christmas Eve afternoon. I just did jam filled, apricot and raspberry. The cream cheese dough in formed into two discs and chilled before rolling out between wax paper sheets into an 8 inch square. I did find myself chilling the rolled out dough a bit to keep it from getting too soft as I filled and formed the kiffles. Not too cold but chilly. After rolling and a slight chill, cut each big square into 16 two inch squares and put a tsp. of best quality jam on each; fold together so the filling peeps out both ends and chill some more on the baking sheet. I brushed them with heavy cream and sprinkled a touch of granulated sugar on before they hit the hot oven. The cute packets of dough and jam bake up lightly browned and delicate. The apricot filling did bubble out somewhat but they were still tasty. Success was felt when my mom ate a few that evening. Her smile told me how yummy they were.
Next time I will make them with the nut and cinnamon filling that is very traditional around the Lehigh Valley. I also hear that stores sell special kiffle filling meant just for these cookies. Gonna look for it; hopefully gluten free and therefore safe for me to enjoy.
So if you are gluten free and crave kiffles; this cookbook by Annalise Roberts is the place to find a workable recipe. She has never failed me yet with her desserts and I thank my lucky stars her cookbooks are on my shelf to guide me through holiday, parties and everyday meals. I don’t mean to sound like a salesperson for her but I can’t say enough great things about this new cookbook and her prior best seller Baking Classics – my copy of that is well worn and I couldn’t exist without it. This kiffle recipe is way too involved to type out for you and I think that if you are serious about baking gf you need to check it out and get your own copy, real soon!
Note: I did a search on line for a gluten free kiffle recipe and didn’t really find one; lots of other cookies but these are quite a specialty and not made by most home cooks except in areas where they are popular and what you can buy is definitely not gluten free. Let me know if you can provide any other kiffle recipes but I am very happy with the results and can heartily recommend to you for your own gf holiday baking. Enjoy!