The Vanillekipferl Recipe These crescent-shaped German cookies are often served at the same time as Cinnamon Stars, making a truly festive platter
1 1/2 cup flour, plus extra for dusting
11 tbsp unsalted butter, softened and diced
2/3 cup confectionerfs sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
1 Sift the flour into a large bowl. Rub in the softened butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Sift in the confectionerfs sugar and add the ground almonds.
2 Add the vanilla extract to the egg, then pour it into the flour mixture.
3 Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough, adding a little more flour if the mixture is very sticky. Place the dough into a plastic bag and chill it for at least 30 minutes, to firm up.
4 Preheat the oven to 325‹F (160‹C).
5 Divide the dough into 2 parts, and on a lightly floured work surface, roll each part into a sausage shape, approximately 11.2in (3cm) in diameter. Use a sharp knife to cut 1.2in (1cm) pieces from the dough.
6 To form the cookies, take a piece of the dough and roll it between your palms to make a sausage shape of around 3 1/2 - 3/4in (8 x 2cm), tapering it slightly at each end.
7 Fold each end of the roll in slightly to form a crescent shape. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and place the formed cookies on them, leaving a little space between each.
8 Bake the vanillekipferl at the top of the oven for 15 minutes, until they are very lightly colored. They should not brown at all.
9 Leave the cookies to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack.
10 Scatter them liberally with confectioner’s sugar, and leave them to cool completely. STORE These will keep in an airtight container for 5 days.
A German Christmas tradition, these crescent-shaped cookies rely on the use of ground almonds for their delicate, crumbly texture. Many recipes recommend tossing the finished cookies in vanilla sugar, but if that proves difficult to find, the vanilla extract in the cookie dough will do just as well.