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Cook Hungarian – Beigli, Hungary’s Favourite Christmas Delicacy

szilagyi.sandor 2014.12.05.

In Hungary, this Christmas treat is made with a yeast dough. Popular fillings for the roll are walnuts, as suggested here, poppy seeds, or an apple-walnut mixture.

While Hungarian Christmas sweets and pastries served at Christmas time are not numerous, beigli can be found on every Christmas table and families ofen have their own variants for this delicious delicacy. In general, no other pastries are served, and the traditional candy szaloncukor, large amounts of wrapped decorative fondant candies hung on the Christmas tree as a decoration, also consumed during the Christmas holidays. It is common for Hungarian families to serve both the walnut and the poppy seed rolls, often accompanied with fruit wines, like red currant wine.



walnut filling (see below for recipe)
1 8-oz. container refrigerated quick crescent roll dough
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. powdered sugar


1. Prepare filling and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Unroll dough on a floured surface such as a bread board. Press closed.

3. Spread the walnut filling to within 1/2-inch of the edges of the dough. Starting from the longer side of the sheet, roll up dough. Pinch edges to seal. Place roll seam-side down on greased baking sheet.

4. Beat together egg yolk and water. Use a pastry brush to glaze roll with egg yolk mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

5. Place in oven. After 15 minutes, place a sheet of foil lightly over roll to slow browning. Bake another 5 to 10 minutes.

6. Cool completely on a rack before slicing thinly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Preparation time: 25 to 35 minutes
Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes
Makes 1 roll


Walnut filling

1 1/2 c. finely diced or chopped
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. whipping cream*
1/4 c. raisins pinch of cinnamon
2 drops of vanilla extract, or 1/2 tsp. vanilla sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tbsp. apricot jam
1. Make sure that walnuts are finely diced or chopped. If they are not, grind them in a coffee grinder. To avoid walnuts sticking to the grinder, mix with the 1 c. sugar and grind together.

2. Mix sugar, cream, and walnuts in small saucepan. Cook until thickened.

3. Add raisins, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon peel, and jam, and mix well.

4. Spoon walnut mixture into a small bowl. Cover and let cool at room temperature.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Makes 1 1/2 to 2 c. filling

*Milk can be substituted for Chocolate Sauce/Chill any leftover sauce to serve later over ice cream or vanilla pudding.

source: Cooking The Hungarian Way. A cookbook by Magdolna Hargittai (2003)
photo: felegyhazikenyer.hu

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