Vanillekipferln – Christmas Baking, part 5

I was actually going to write this post last night but then Miss Meike’s Kitchen thought it would be a good idea to stop up and keep me company so that plan went out of the window.

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We had some more Christmas cookies yesterday after dinner and you’ll see that my mum has also been busy:

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Her latest additions to the cookie plate are almond macaroons with a chocolate filling (to the left of the reindeers), next to these almond cookies with a jam filling and some chocolate coating and, at the bottom, orange sticks (they sound better in German: Orangenstäbchen) filled with marmalade and coated with chocolate at one end. The latter two are part of our permanent Christmas cookie baking list. My grandma always made the almond cookies and my mum has been making the Orangenstäbchen for a very long time too. You see, we’ve always got cookies that are made every single year without fail and then there are always some new recipes we try out or others that we only make occasionally.

The next cookies I made are from the permanent list. I’ve been tinkering with my Grandma’s recipe, may she rest in peace. There can’t be a Christmas season without them, particularly since my dad declared them to be “the most boring Christmas cookie”. Let me assure you, they are not. They are Vanillekipferln, a Bohemian-Austrian traditional cookie that seems to be ubiquitous here in Germany. I like them for their subtle taste and I’ve just noticed that this recipe is the first Christmas recipe I copied into my recipe book. Says it all. The Kipferl bit here refers to their crescent shape.

Ingredients:
66g sugar
200g butter
2 egg yolks
seeds from a vanilla pod
pinch of salt
260g flour
100g ground almonds*

Method:
Cream sugar and butter together. Add the yolks and vanilla seeds.
Slowly add the salt, flour and almonds and bring the dough together to a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for an hour in the fridge.
(It saves time later, if you divide the dough into quarters and shape each quarter into a sausage, about 2 cm thicks and wrap them individually.)

* I compared a couple of recipes and some add as much as 200g of almonds. I have tried this this year but I can’t offer an opinion on that yet. Last time I made them, I only used 50g (that was all I had left) and that was fine too. You can also use a mixture of nuts, e.g. half almonds, half hazelnuts.

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Cut the sausages into slices, about 2cm thick. Shape into crescents.

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Bake in a preheated oven (190°C) for 8-10 minutes.

While they’re still hot, roll them in 50g icing sugar mixed with 7g vanilla sugar.
But be warned: they easily break when they’re too hot so let them cool on the baking tray for about five minutes.

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