Vanilla Crescents or Vanille Kipferl come with a history lesson…. seems they were invented by the Austrians to celebrate a victory over the Turkish army in some war or another (which one is not important… there were so many…. and there won’t be a test, so you can stop taking notes.)
Can you just picture it? Yeah! We Won!! Let’s go have Cookies.!!!!
German speaking people eat Vanille Kipferl. Mostly around Christmas (although you can get them anytime in Vienna…( I love Vienna, the Waltzing, the Sacher Torte, the Konditoreis, Kaffee mit Schlag … which is perfect for drinking while eating cookies…).
I make them because they are a light, sweet cookie that goes well with a cup of tea (ok, or coffee) in the afternoon. My daughter loves them, because they are “plain”.
True, it is a basic cookie…. Flour, Sugar, Butter and an Egg.But I think they are anything but plain. To the basic ingredients, you add ground Almonds and lots of Vanilla. These ingredients combine to make something delicious enough to serve in a fancy tea room, but yummy enough for a group of boys studying physics.
This recipe showcases how a few simple ingredients can make delicious cookie. Flour, sugar, butter and an egg combine with Ground Almonds and Vanilla with wonderful results.
I’ve taken this recipe from a German Cookbook called, “Handmade Weinachten”, so I included their metric measurements, and my conversions.
German baking often uses Vanilla Sugar instead of Vanilla Extract. It’s just Vanilla Infused Granulated Sugar… smells wonderful, tastes great. You can find this ingredient in specialty stores or on Amazon. You can also make your own.
I bought ground Almonds from a local Indian Spice Market, you can also buy them in natural food stores, and if you really want to, you can make them yourself. Put whole almonds into a food processor, and pulse until you have ground Almonds…. pulse too much, and you will have Almond Spread (great with jam on toast, but not so good for these cookies). Even better… if you have a German Hand Grinder for nuts, you will get the perfect texture every time!
As always, there are step-by-step photos below… these are a snap.
Vanilla Crescents / Vanille Kipferl Recipe
Step By Step Instructions for Vanille Kipferl
Make the Dough in a Food Processor… It’s Easiest
my picture was a fail… sorry
Dump The Dough onto a Length of Plastic Wrap
Kind of Moosh it into Shape
Smooth Out and Wrap in Plastic
No…it doesn’t have to be Perfect
Cut Off Pieces Of Dough
About this much
Roll Bit of Dough Between Your Palms
Make a Little Log
About 2 inches Long (or 3), this isn’t brain surgery
Taper the Ends…. Bend to a Crescent Shape
Put The Dough Crescents On A Cookie Sheet
Stick in the Oven
Get Your Rack Ready
Cooling Rack Over Cookie Sheet (I add Waxed Paper…for extra neatness)
Take Warm Cookies from Cookie Sheet….Dip them in Vanilla Sugar
Set on Cooling Rack
Or Eat as Fast as You Can