Makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies.
Taste Tip: Honoring historical figures with a cookie is a time-honored Hungarian tradition, and these honor General Louis Kossuth, a 19th-century Hungarian revolutionary hero (pronounced coo-SOOTH KEY-flee). Kifli is Hungarian for crescent.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⅔ cups flour, plus extra for pan
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1½ cups granulated sugar
8 eggs, separated
½ teaspoon vanilla
Freshly grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
1½ cups finely chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour bottom and sides of a 9- by 13-inch cake pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together baking powder and flour, and reserve. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, and beat until creamy. Add vanilla extract, lemon rind and lemon juice, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low, gradually add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Using a spatula, fold egg whites into batter. Gently spread batter into prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle top of batter with walnuts and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack.
Cool until cake shrinks away from sides of pan, about 15 minutes. With a small round biscuit cutter periodically dipped in powdered sugar, cut one circle (don't remove it), then cut another circle halfway down the first one, making two crescents and one oval scrap. Remove from pan and repeat. Cool crescents completely and dust with powdered sugar shaken through a wire-mesh screen. Store in a tightly covered container for up to 2 days.
2003: From Linda Paul of Minneapolis, Minnesota