Baking Blog

Welcome Winter With These Delicious Hungarian Apricot Horns

While other children were dreaming of sugar plums, our copywriter Sarah was busy dreaming of Hungarian apricot horns.

Hungarian Apricot Horns

“I distinctly remember loving these cookies as a little girl, and looked forward to my Nana making them every Christmas,” Sarah says. “My first memory of them was when I was visiting my aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania when I was 6. I ate one cookie and literally couldn’t stop going back for more.”

These tender, apricot filled treats come from a Hungarian Christmas cookie known as the Kiffle.

While both desserts are made from the same traditional cream cheese dough, Kiffles can be filled with a variety of different fillings including apricot, poppyseed, prune butter and sugared walnuts.

This particular recipe comes from Sarah’s great great grandmother Annie, who was born in Budapest, making these Hungarian apricot horns the real deal.

Sarah with her apricot horns

When baked correctly, these horns have a very soft, and tender texture that Sarah can only describe as “melt in your mouth.” This texture was something that Sarah’s mother struggled with. After a few “failed” attempts, she gave up, leaving Sarah to wait for the annual platter of homemade cookies to arrive by mail.

“I remember going back to the cookie tin again and again,” She says, “I’d eat like five — at least — in one sitting, and my mom would be appalled.”

While her mother may not have been successful in her horn making endeavors, Sarah has since perfected the art. She assures us that the most important steps in achieving that signature soft texture is keeping an eye on the horns while they bake. They can burn in a flash, which dries the cookies out and makes them crumbly.

Apricot Horn Cookies

Apricot horns recipe

Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients for Hungarian Apricot Horns

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 can apricot filling (you can also make your own)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (for sprinkling)

Directions:

  1. With a stand mixer or electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add flour and baking soda and mix well. Chill in the fridge.
  3. Once chilled slightly, roll out the pastry dough to ⅛” thickness. Cut into 2″ squares.
  4. Place a dollop of apricot filling in the middle of each square.
  5. Take two opposite corners of the pastry dough square and fold them over each other, gently pressing down where they overlap to seal them.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour and sugar. Sprinkle a bit of this mixture on top of each apricot horn.
  7. Bake at 375 F for 18 minutes, or just until slightly browned (do not overbake!).
Plate of Apricot Horns on Wooden Table

If you’re interested in other recipes that have stood the test of time, check out our free Holiday recipe book!

Craftsy Holiday Recipe Guide

More Holiday Favorites — Free

We rounded up our favorite holiday dessert recipes from folks around the office. And in the spirit of giving (and hosting a fabulous spread) we’re sharing them with you. Get the Guide

Will you fill your horns with apricot, or try a different filling?

10 Comments

Nel

i find it hard to believe that with canned apricot filling, these are the ‘real deal.’ Make your own filling; do the whole thing from scratch. You’ll be glad you did, and so will the people you share them with.

I use a recipe from a different source (Polish origin – same thing) and far from the risk of the cookies drying out, they have so much fat in the dough that they are always rich and tender – and tend to ooze butter when baked. I’ve never had a dry result with a recipe by Fredricka Schwanka. Her filling recipe includes dried apricots, golden raisins, mild honey, orange marmalade and cinnamon – yum. And you get 5 dozen cookies from it – plenty to share.

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MARY D CAIN

Absolutely apricot, though a few with seedless raspberry jam will be nice! My parents were from Budapest but my Mom made rugelach instead of these. Her rugelach dough had cream cheese in it and they did melt in your mouth.

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Carol Nelms

My mother made these , we have had them for years, and they are great!

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Rosalie McCreary

I know these as Hungarian Kiffles. I got the recipe from a friend when we lived in El Portal, California. My recipe calls for finely chopped almonds and sugar sprinkled over an egg white wash brushed over the filled pastry. When I couldn’t find apricot jam I used apricot pineapple jam. And yes these are an amazing tasting pastry and truely you can’t eat just one!

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Cath

These look similar to what my Hungarian mom used to make. Her recipe didn’t have cream cheese in it and looked like she rolled it thinner, but otherwise they looks like hers. She had other little rolls and cookie shapes, each having their own jam filling or, lekvar(prune butter), nut or poppy seed pastes. It was wonderful. These definitely look tempting to make.
I tried to make my own lekvar one year in my slow cooker. I left it run overnight and in the morning the fruit had eaten completely through the glaze on my slow cooker. I had to toss it all, including the slow cooker.
If you can find it lekvar makes a great sauce for noodles. We used it as a meat free dish during lent.

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Dee

This recipe sounds scrumptious! Thanks for this and the other Christmas recipes in the booklet!

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Sherry D'Ambrosio

I love these! HAven’t had one in years. Thanks to your recipe, making these just went to the top of my holiday baking list.

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Sue

The dough should be flaky when baked, delicate to the touch. This recipe dough look very heavy. Not an original Hungarian recipe.

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Kristen

I made these last year, but the filling always melts and makes a huge mess. What am I doing wrong?!

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