I guess everybody has their favourite Christmas cookies. Among mine are Vanillekipferl (How do you translate that? They're a sort of vanilla-flavoured crumbling cookies). So every year before Christmas, I humbly try to recreate that specific taste that I've grown up with. After trying a few different recipes from books, I eventually asked my mother for her recipe. With that, I'm getting closer but still don't quite match hers ...

CookiesHere's the recipe:

  • 300g of wheat (the plain white sort)
  • 125g of ground almonds (the finer the better)
  • 125g of white sugar
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 250g of butter
  • 3 egg yolk (we won't need the egg white - see if you can use it for something else)
  • more vanilla sugar and powdered sugar for the decoration

My mother usually gets about 80 Vanillekipferl out of this. I tend to make them a little smaller and end up with about 100.

Step 1

  1. Mix the wheat, the sugars, and the ground almonds.
  2. Scrape the contents out of the vanilla bean and add that (not the peel, of course), together with the butter and the yolk.
  3. Knead until you've got a proper dough.
  4. Form a big ball, wrap it in foil and put it in the refrigerator for an hour.

Time to relax and do something else for a while. Or clean up the kitchen ...

Step 2

  1. Heat up the oven to 175 C (degrees Celcius).
  2. Form little balls, roll them into rolls and bend them into a U shape, then put them on a baking sheet.
  3. The actual baking time will heavily depend on your oven. Plan for a maximum of 12 minutes, but start watching them carefully after about 8 minutes. When they get dark at the corners, check the underside and remove them from the oven once it gets brown.
  4. Turn the hot Kipferl in the extra vanilla sugar (spread on a plate, for example) - both sides.
  5. Put them on a grate, dust them with the powdered sugar and let them cool out for a couple of hours.



Bonus tip: Keep the Vanillekipferl in a cookie jar. To prevent them from drying up too much, put a small slice from an apple into the jar (on a piece of aluminum foil, so it doesn't get in contact with the cookies). Replace the slice every couple of days (twice a week or so). This also works with many other cookies!

Creative Commons Licence "Vanillekipferl" by Dirk Haun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.


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