I am working on a family cookbook to bring together and preserve recipes from all sides of my and my husband’s family. Part of my process is making many of the recipes. My grandmothers, in particular, were terrible about writing complete recipes. They often list ingredients but no instructions or skip a lot of steps. By making the recipes, I can fill in missing pieces and also take pictures because who wants a cookbook with no pictures??!
Yesterday I set myself to making my grandma Marie’s German cookie recipe: Butter Kipfel. This is one of her more complete recipes.
First I made the dough. I melted 2 sticks of butter and added 1 cup sugar. I creamed those together with my mixer. Next I added two eggs and beat that until foamy. I added the 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon each vanilla and lemon juice before mixing in the 4 cups flour.
The dough gets rolled out on a floured surface. I realized after I’d made the dough that I didn’t have a rolling pin at the lakehouse so my husband whipped me up one right quick from a piece of PVC. Worked great!
I didn’t know how thick to make it because grandma didn’t specify but it’s sort of fragile dough (read – hard to roll) so I got it to between 1/4 and 3/16″ before it began to fall apart.
Use a glass to cut out rounds.
The filling starts in the food processor with nuts. I used walnuts and pecans, 1-1/2 pounds of them. Then you scald a cup of milk on the stove top. Remove it from the heat and stir in the nuts along with a cup of sugar, the zest of one lemon and a teaspoon cinnamon.
One note I made is that this makes WAY more filling than you need so either double or triple the dough part or cut the filling ingredients by at least half.
Put a teaspoon of filling on one side of the circle and fold over gently, pressing the edges together to seal it.
This dough recipe made enough cookies to fill two cookie sheets, about 36 cookies.
They go in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Grandma said 20 but mine looked perfect at 15 minutes.
So I made my notes on the recipe, typed it up and added it to the cookbook.
I think grandma Marie would be happy to know her recipes will be passed on to future generations and I’m happy to be a part of that process!