It’s time for another festive recipe! This time, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favourite German Christmas cookies: the Vanillekipferl. It’s basically a crescent-shaped vanilla almond biscuit, dusted with lots and lots of cinnamon icing sugar. I remember that every year come Christmas time, my mum would make the most lovely Vanillekipferl, and let me help her shape the biscuits. I wasn’t the most talented crescent-moulder – often the dough rolls would break in half or look more like a potatoe stump than bearing any remote resemblance to a half-moon. But still, mum would let me go on and praise my attempts. And so I grew more and more confident over the years, and, here I am today, making pretty decent Vanillekipferl. Thanks mum!
Making these Vanillekipferl couldn’t be easier. They are in fact made the same way you’d make a shortbread or shortcrust pastry. All the ingredients are mixed together, the dough formed into logs, wrapped in clingfilm and chilled in the fridge for an hour or so. Once the dough has firmed up, you cut slices off, and mould them into crescents. Once they’re baked, dust them with a generous helping of cinnamon icing sugar so that they get their snow-dusted look. Easy, peasy, beautiful and yummy! ★
Makes around 50 Kipferl
100g ground almonds
175g butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
80g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean (or 1 packet vanilla sugar)
2 egg yolks
150g icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix the flour and the almonds. In another bowl, mix the butter with the sugar. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the sugar mix. Then add the egg yolks and beat until creamy.
Add the flour mix to the butter mix and knead into a dough.
Shape four equal-sized dough rolls, wrap them in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 175° celsius.
Mix the icing sugar with the cinnamon.
Take the rolls out of the fridge and cut 1cm slices off. Mould these pieces into moon-shaped crescents. Roll each crescent in icing sugar before baking.
Bake the Vanillekipferl for 10-15 minutes until nicely golden. While they’re still warm, dust them with cinnamon icing sugar.