Keiffles

Julia Drost

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These “cookies” are not something that many people have had before. They are a light crust filled with jam or preserves. My grandmother only makes these for big family gatherings and I never realized why until I made them. These are definitely a big project to take one so it is best for weekends and for experienced bakers who are willing to spend many hours making these. Though keiffles take many hours to make they are totally worth it. I copied my family recipe below and put any comments in italic and parentheses.

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 8 oz. softened butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
  • 1 lb confectioners sugar
  • Large jar of pineapple preserves (12 ounces or more) (I used pineapple and raspberry and recommend the pineapple because the texture is better in my opinion, but both are good)

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese (in a stand mixer).  Add vanilla, if using (I did).  With a pastry blender, or two knives (I used a pastry blender because I have one but if you don’t two knives work well too), cut mixture into the flour until dough is the size of small peas.  Remove a tablespoon or so of dough and roll it in your hands making about a one inch ball. The recipe makes about 50 balls or so.  Roll each ball in confectioners sugar and place in a bowl. Chill several hours or overnight. (The balls may be frozen at this point for future use if desired.)
  2. Before preparing to bake, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let set until less cold, and is “rollable”.  But, do not let the dough get too soft as it will be impossible to roll out. Using one ball at a time, reroll/coat again in confectioners sugar.  Then roll each ball on a pastry board (or parchment paper on the table) dusted with confectioners sugar, using a dusted rolling pin.  Roll the ball into a rough circle, about three to four inches in diameter, turning the dough around and over repeatedly to get shape desired (mine did not come in perfect circles and still came out perfect ), redusting everything with confectioners sugar to keep the dough from sticking.
  3. In the center of the“circle” of dough, place about a scant ½ teaspoon of pineapple preserves.  Fold dough over the preserves sealing edges all around. Then roll it over again forming pastry into a finger shape. Be sure all edges are sealed very well. (I also often fold ends up and over a bit and press again, to be sure to keep the preserves inside when baking.  You may try to make them without this step; however, you risk having some of the preserves ooze out the ends.)
  4. Set Keiffles on a tin-foil (or parchment paper) lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so depending on your oven.  Take them out of the oven when barely beginning to brown on the edges. Let set on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes (not much longer or they will be hard to remove and break easily, especially if any preserves have seeped out.)  Remove carefully and set on a rack to cool thoroughly.