Like many people in America, my husband’s ancestors hail from a variety of countries.

His maternal grandmother has some Hungarian forebears and her family has cooking traditions that spring from that. One such tradition is kiefles.

When Andrew and I were celebrating our first holiday together, he became very excited when his mother said there would be kiefles at a family gathering.

Now, I had never heard of kiefles before, so while my reaction obviously was found underwhelming, I blame the fact that I had no idea what they were talking about.

I soon was set straight on the amazing-ness that is this Hungarian nut cookie recipe.

Kiefle dough ingredients

  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 4 cups flour
  • Eggs

Kiefle filling ingredients

  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions for kiefles

Mix walnuts and sugar together, then separate out 1/3 of the mixture for topping.

Add hot water — a little at time — to the remaining filling mixture, until the paste is not too thick or too watery.

Mix together dough ingredients. Divide the dough into quarters. Keep the unused portion covered and refrigerated.

Roll out a quarter of the dough at a time into thin sheets.

Cut the sheets into small rectangles. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon of wet filling into the center of each rectangle.

Wrap dough in thirds over the filling, pinching the ends closed.

Dip rolled cookies into beaten egg whites and then into the dry topping.

Set on cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees. Cook for eight to 10 minutes, until golden brown.