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Vanillekipferln (vanilla almond crescent cookies) dusted with powdered sugar and lined up on a square piece of parchment paper.

Vanillekipferln (Vanilla Almond Crescent Cookies)

  • Author: Vanessa | Maple + Mango
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Chill Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30-35 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cookies
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: German

Description

Vanillekipferln are crescent-shaped cookies featuring ground almonds, vanilla and a generous dusting of powdered sugar. They are delicate and buttery with a melt-in-your-mouth texture – SO GOOD!


Ingredients

Scale

For cookie dough:

  • 250 grams (2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 227 grams (1 cup or 2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 125 grams (1 1/4 cups) finely ground blanched almonds (see notes)
  • 120 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar (aka icing sugar or confectioners sugar)
  • 1 packet (2 teaspoons) vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Optional: 2 egg yolks (see notes)

For dusting:

  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
  • 2 packets (4 teaspoons) vanilla sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix Dough: Place all the cookie dough ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix together, starting at the lowest speed first and gradually increasing to a medium speed until a smooth dough forms.  At first it will look crumbly and dry but will then come together to form a dough as it continues to mix.  (Note: You can also knead the dough by hand or use a hand mixer). 
  2. Chill Dough: Shape the dough into a disc or a log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  3. Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C with rack in center position and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Shape: Form tablespoon size pieces of the dough into crescent shapes with slightly tapered ends (but not pointy).  Place onto the lined baking sheets leaving some space between them (about 1 inch apart).
  5. Bake: Bake one sheet at a time for 10-15 minutes or until the ends just start to turn lightly golden.  They should still be fairly pale.  Tip: Place the second sheet in the fridge until it can be baked to keep the cookies cold.
  6. Dust With Sugar: Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar for dusting.  Let the cookies sit for a minute or two and then sift half the sugar mixture over the hot vanillekipferln using a small fine mesh sieve or a sifter.  Carefully transfer to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.  Once cooled completely, give them a second dusting with the remaining sugar.  Enjoy!  Store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • Ground almonds: I use store bought blanched almond meal/flour.  The package should say “extra-fine” or “super-fine” almond meal or almond flour from whole blanched almonds.  You can also make your own by grinding up some blanched almonds until fine.
  • Vanilla sugar: Vanilla sugar is a common baking ingredient in Europe and is sold in little packets.  You can buy the German vanilla sugar packets or use homemade.  Each packet contains about 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar.  To make your own, place 1 cup of sugar and the seeds scraped from one vanilla bean in a food processor or blender and pulse until combined.
  • Egg yolks vs no egg yolks: The egg yolks are an optional ingredient in this recipe.  It comes down to personal preference.  Adding the egg yolks makes the dough slightly easier to work with (but not by much).  The main difference is in the finished texture of the cookie.  The vanillekipferl with the egg yolks have a softer, slightly denser cookie-like texture whereas those without have a more delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Measure dry ingredients carefully!  For this dough to come together properly, the dry ingredients must be measured correctly.  Using a kitchen scale guarantees accurate and consistent results every time vs. the huge variation you can get filling measuring cups.  If you are using the cup measurements, make sure to use the spoon and level method (but I highly recommend using a scale!).
  • How to shape the vanillekipferl? My technique is to first roll a tablespoon size piece of the dough into a ball.  Then I roll it into a small log with slightly tapered ends.  After placing it onto the prepared baking sheet, I curve the ends in so that it forms a crescent shape.

Keywords: vanillekipferln, vanillekipferl recipe, almond crescent cookies