hese awesome cookies are a must Christmas treat in my country, probably because of Austro-Hungarian legacy. Vanillekipferl [va’nɪləkɪpfɐl] originated in imperial Vienna, and you can still find them in most stores, and in elegant Viennese coffee shops. These delicate, melt-in-your-mouth bites are also popular in other European countries: Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and – of course – here in Croatia. You can recognize them easily – small, crescent-shaped cookies heavily dusted with vanilla sugar. Now, do you know how to get your hands on some vanilla sugar? Well, there are two ways!
First one is to take a vanilla pod, cut it lengthwise in half and put it into a jar. Fill the jar with powdered sugar and close it tightly. In a few days, you will have some lovely and fragrant, natural vanilla sugar! The other way is to go to your local store and buy a synthetically obtained product – also called vanilla sugar (confusing, I know…), which contains vanillin, and mix it with your own good old powdered sugar. The store-bought vanilla sugar is cheaper than the natural vanilla bean because vanillin – the substance that gives vanilla flavor is synthesized chemically.
Regarding shaping, I am a kind of a freak – using my scale I often portion the dough to pieces of 10g (0.35oz) each, because I really like my crescents to be identical. If you don’t have time to do that, you can always make a long rope out of the dough (app. 2.5cm which is 1″ in diameter) and cut it uniformly in 2.5cm (1″) slices, like I’m doing in this video. Shape every slice into a ball, and then into a short rope, that shouldn’t be longer than your palm’s width. The ends of the rope should be thinner than the middle part. Bend the rope in a form of a crescent and put on a baking tray.
This vanilla crescents recipe is my favorite! It calls for walnuts, but you can use almonds, hazelnuts, or even pecans instead. You can keep these cookies in a tin for a long time, at least two weeks, although when you taste them, I’m sure they won’t last a day! So, double up the recipe and start rubbing in!
Vanilla Crescents Recipe
by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry MaestraPRINT PDF (EN) ISPIŠI PDF (HR)
Prep. time : 10 minutes
Cook time : 10 minutes
Ready in 25 minutes
Level : BasicIngredients:
- All purpose flour 150g (5.3oz)
- Ground walnuts 50g (1.8oz)
- Butter 90g (3.2oz)
- Powdered sugar 50g (1.8oz)
- Vanilla powder
- Egg white 30g (1oz or 1 medium egg white)
- Powdered sugar mixed with vanilla powder for dusting
- Mix dry ingredients – flour, ground walnuts, powdered sugar and vanilla powder in a large bowl.
- Cut the cold butter into small cubes and rub your dry ingredients into the butter with your fingertips until you get crumbly mixture.
- Add one egg white and combine to make the dough.
- Flatten the dough and wrap it in plastic foil. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but you can also leave it overnight.
- Shape the dough into a long rope, approximtely 2.5cm (1″) in diameter, and cut it in uniform 2.5cm (1″) long slices. Shape each slice into a ball, and then make a short rope, that shouldn’t be longer than your palm’s width. The ends of the rope should be thinner than the middle part. Bend the rope into a form of a crescent and put it on a paper lined baking tray.
- Bake cookies at 165°C (330°F) for approximately 10 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges.
- Take the crescents out and roll them in vanilla sugar while they are still warm.
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