I was enjoying Jean Metzer‘s The Matzah Ball, a really fun #Hanukkah romance in the classic Romance-novels style (meet-cute, boy and girl hate each other as sparks fly, the last straw, reconciliation, HEA) with the twist that it’s about fun-loving, quirky, observant #Jewish people!
Real life Jews having fun! Added bonus: chronic disease. And I say that without an ounce of snark: real life person with chronic disease suffering, having fun, not having a miracle cure if she’d only believe, just…being.
So the book is ground-breaking, while being, really truly, a romance novel. And it’s loaded with delicious Hanukkah food! I was ravenous just reading it.
The author, Jean Metzer, made an appearance on the Facebook group A Novel Bee, and talked about one of the very-present pastries mentioned in the book: Rugelach. To the uninitiated, rugelach are the little rolled up yeast-dough cookies filled with…chocolate, apricot jam, what have you. Soooooo good.
While she was telling us about her recipe, she divulged a shortcut she likes: using puff-pastry for the dough. So, I told her about my shortcut: cream-cheese dough. Rich, melty, delicious, everything you want in a dough. We call them kiffles. I don’t know why.
So this Hanukkah, I hunted down my recipe. I have a magical recipe box, given to me by my mother-in-law of blessed memory, and here’s the picture:
It’s magical, because I always find exactly what I’m looking for right away! Here’s the kiffles recipe. Make some, eat some, and Happy Hanukkah!
- 6 oz low-fat cream cheese (or regular, it's the holidays!) room temperature
- 6 oz softened, unsalted butter (like I said, holidays!)
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 egg whites
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, in a bowl.
- Mix dough in mixer until smooth. Divide into 4 balls, and refrigerate while you blend.
- Pre-heat oven to 350, line a sheet pan with parchment, silpat, or very very lightly greased foil.
- Roll out one ball at a time. Cut into pie-wedges, about 6 (maybe 8) wedges. Put some filling on the wide end, roll up like a crescent, use some of the liquid in the bowl to moisten your fingertips and seal the roll.
- Repeat with all the dough.
- Put on sheet pan, bake for 10 minutes until golden. Take out right away, put on a rack, and if you want to gild the lilly so to speak, dust with confectioners sugar.
Happy happy Hanukkah!