Vanillekipferl are a very traditional Christmas cookie in the shape of a croissant. They are made from a shortcrust pastry made from flour, butter, sugar and grated almonds, often also roasted almonds – but also walnuts, peanuts or hazelnuts depending on the region or country you are in.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
1 cup hazelnuts, ground
½ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 160°C (375°F).
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, nuts, 1/2 cup icing sugar, salt, and vanilla. Hand mix until thoroughly blended. Shape dough into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, place sugar in a bowl or small container. With sharp knife, split vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and mix them into the sugar. Cut the rest of the vanilla bean in smaller pieces. Pour sugar in a glass with an airtight lid and mix the pieces with the sugar, to make your own vanilla sugar. Over time the aroma will infuse the sugar. You can use your homemade vanilla sugar for any purpose.
Remove dough from refrigerator and form into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball into a small roll, 3 inches long. Place rolls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bend each one to make a crescent shape.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated oven, or until set but not brown.
Let stand 1 minute, then remove from cookie sheets. Place hot cookies on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with prepared sugar mixture. Turn gently to coat on both sides. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Just before serving, coat with more vanilla flavoured sugar.