Kossuth-kifli – Walnut half moon cookies

by | May 19, 2016 | Breads, buns & biscuits

According to the legend, the Hungarian politician, Lajos Kossuth generally stayed in the Hotel Zöldfa (Green tree) when he arrived to Bratislava in order to attend the Diet. Jakab Palugyay, the hotel’s owner made very light half moon shaped cookies that were topped with poppy seeds and ground/sliced almonds. The latter was Kossuth’s favorite one and that’s why the cookies were named later after Kossuth, who was the Governor-President of the Kingdom of Hungary during the revolution of 1848–49.

The base of Kossuth kifli is a butter sponge cake, which is richer than a normal sponge cake; therefore, it doesn’t dry out so easily. Butter and sugar are creamed together, flavoured with lemon zest and juice, and combined with egg yolks. Flour is incorporated into the creamed butter gradually, and finally the batter is loosened with beaten egg whites. The batter is topped with ground almonds or – more often – with coarsely chopped walnuts.

The cookies are cut out after the cake has cooled; you can use a medium cookie cutter or a glass. There will be some leftover irregular cuttings, those pieces make a perfect topping for ice cream or yogurt. Kossuth kifli can be served single, or those, who like variety, can eat these fluffy cookies with ice cream, chocolate or vanilla custard, or with a sourish fruit sauce.

Kossuth-kifli – Walnut half moon cookies – photo: zserbo.com


  • 200 g (~7 oz) powdered sugar
  • 250 g (~9 oz) butter
  • 5 eggs
  • zest of a lemon
  • juice of a half lemon
  • 300 g (~10 oz) flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g (~3,5 oz) walnuts

Butter and flour a 30×30 cm/ 12×12 inch baking pan. Coarsely chop the walnuts. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F.
Separate the eggs. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl.

In a separate bowl cream butter and powdered sugar together. Mix in lemon zest and lemon juice, then, while whisking constantly, add egg yolks one by one. Gradually add flour to the creamed butter and whisk to combine.

With clean whisk beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. With a wooden spoon gently fold the beaten egg whites into the butter-flour mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Scatter chopped walnuts on the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan.  Transfer the cake to a cutting board and with a round cookie cutter cut out half moon shaped cookies.

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You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

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In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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