Chef Tom Loraditch is executive chef at West Point Market, overseeing the kitchen and restaurant operations for the famous Akron gourmet emporium.

Here is our family recipe for Yugoslavian Christmas Kifle. My wife and I have been making these for about 30 years. She learned it from her mother and we have spent many evenings gathered together at the dining room table showing our children how to make them. We carry many fond memories of serving these during the holiday season as well as weddings and anniversaries.

CHRISTMAS KIFLE

For the dough:

4 cups all-purpose flour

¼ oz. active dry yeast

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup butter-flavored Crisco

7 oz. evaporated milk

¼ cup sour cream

1 whole large egg

2 egg yolks

For the walnut filling:

2 cups chopped walnuts

1 cup light brown sugar

2 egg whites

5 oz. evaporated milk

¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup dark raisins

½ cup orange juice

For the walnut filling, plump the raisins in the orange juice and combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. You can also fill the cookies with apricot jam or seedless red raspberry jam.

In a large bowl, mix the yeast into the flour. Cut the butter and Crisco into the flour mixture in pea-size pieces. Add the eggs, evaporated milk and sour cream. Mix gently with hands to form soft dough, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Roll into nickel-size balls, cover and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll dough balls into 3-inch rounds using flour-coated rolling pin. Fill each with your choice of fruit or nut filling. Roll into crescent shapes and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar when serving.

Makes about 100 cookies.