Keeflees: one of our favorite holiday cookie recipes! (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles…)
Michele Yockey of Arroyo Grande was one of the 10 winners of our first Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off with these Keeflees:
"This recipe has been in the family for at least 115 years," she wrote. "My grandmother came from what is now the Czech Republic, and all of her recipes were stored in her head.... At the age of 20, I decided that I would hang out with Grandma in the kitchen as she cooked, in order to preserve some of her wonderful recipes. These holiday cookies were one of the many that I wrote down and have since passed on to my children."
Keeflees is one of the favorite holiday cookie recipes we've collected in our updated "Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookies" ebook. The cookbook now includes 65 recipes from a wide range of sources, from world-famous pastry chefs, favorite bakeries and home cooks. And check out the favorite holiday recipes we've collected in our "Los Angeles Times Holiday Handbook." The book shares more than 110 seasonal recipes to help you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's.
Each book is $4.99, and they are available at the Los Angeles Times bookstore for Kindle, Nook and iBooks.
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Submitted by Michele Yockey of Arroyo Grande
Total time: 1½ hours, plus chilling time
Servings: About 2½ dozen cookies
1½ cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 (3-ounce) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
Grated peel of one lemon
1 egg white, beaten
Powdered sugar for dusting
1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the cream cheese into the flour mixture, and then work in the butter. Add the whipping cream and vanilla and mix to make a smooth dough, being careful not to overmix.
2. Form the mixture into small walnut-size balls (about 2 teaspoons of dough per ball). They may be a bit sticky, but don't add flour. Put them into a bowl, cover with plastic, and chill overnight.
3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the walnuts, sugar, raisins, grated lemon peel and beaten egg white. Pulse to finely grind.
4. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the balls on a well-floured board to make 4-by-3-inch rectangles. Take a generous teaspoon of the nut mixture and form it into a pencil-shaped log, almost the length of the cookie dough. Place it along the edge of one of the wide sides of a rectangle and roll up the pastry around it. Form the pastry into a crescent shape and turn the ends under, sealing them closed. Continue this way until all the balls are made into crescents. The balls should remain cool. Should they become warm, keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the next ball.
5. Bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar while still warm.
Each of 2½ dozen cookies: 169 calories; 2 grams protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 13 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 25 mg cholesterol; 7 grams sugar; 30 mg sodium.