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Walnut Horn Cookies Recipe
Walnut Horn Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Walnut Horn Cookies Recipe

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At our house, it wouldn't be Christmas without these Pennsylvania Dutch cookies that are known locally as "kiffels". We have two children, 16 and 9. -Sharon Allen, Allentown, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min./batch
MAKES:48 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min./batch
MAKES: 48 servings


  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups ground walnuts (about 1 pound)
  • 5-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Nutritional Facts

2 cookies equals 237 calories, 15 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 46 mg cholesterol, 103 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, egg yolks and flour; beat until smooth. Shape into 1-in. balls; place in a container with waxed paper separating each layer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. For filling, combine walnuts and 3-3/4 cups sugar (the mixture will be dry). In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into nut mixture. Add extracts and a few drops of water if necessary until filling reaches a spreading consistency.
  3. Place remaining sugar in a bowl; roll cream cheese balls in sugar until completely covered. Place a few balls at a time between two sheets of waxed paper.
  4. Roll balls into 2-1/2-in. circles. Gently spread about 2 teaspoons of filling over each. Roll up; place seam side down on ungreased baking sheets. Curve the ends slightly. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Yield: about 8 dozen.
Originally published as Walnut Horn Cookies in Country Woman November/December 1998, p29

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Reviewed Dec. 12, 2013

"These cookies are "IT" for my family, I have to make it for Christmas. My husband will request these instead of gifts. Yes, they take time to make, but well worth it. I make the dough balls a little bigger, about 1.5 inches in diameter. You do not have to make them a day ahead. However need to chill them a little, so they are easier to work with. I roll them out to about 5" diameter circles, so the walnut filling fits in there just right. As long as the seams are on the cookie sheet and the ends curved in, they won't leak out. They are really good with coffee the next morning, if you have any left over."

Reviewed Dec. 9, 2013

"Great tasting, but so time consuming. Does anyone else have issues with the filling coming out the ends and burning to the pan? Should I be pinching the ends closed? Can I make these in a tassie pan instead?"

Reviewed Jul. 30, 2013

"Don't try this unless you are cooking for an army with patience to match. Lots of time and money for a poor result."

Reviewed Feb. 8, 2011

"Very good! I have been making this since I first got the recipe from TOH years ago. I make it every Christmas. I tend to use less filling and thus I cut the recipe for that in half. One of our favorites."

Reviewed Dec. 25, 2010

"This recipe is very labor intensive but soooo tasty, especially on the 2nd day. The crust is light & flaky; the filling is sweet & flavorful. Perfect for Christmas!"

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