We are barely a week from Christmas. I’m sure everyone is busy preparing gifts, baking, and decorating their homes for this beautiful season.
In case anyone is looking out for Christmas cookies, these are festive. They are traditionally Austrian in origin but now they are enjoyed in many countries especially over the Christmas/winter season.
They are traditionally quite big but I prefer them smaller so they are easier to eat, plus they look cute when smaller – so that’s the way I made them. Its texture is slightly different from the usual crumbly sablés that I love; it is delicate and melt-in-the-mouth. The vanilla flavour comes through and it is very lovely if you are a vanilla fan, so don’t skimp on the vanilla bean.
Vanilla crescents (Vanillekipferl)
Makes about 35
Recipe adapted from Le Cordon Bleu
250g plain flour
100g ground almonds
80g icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scrapped
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
250g icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scrapped
1. Sift together all the dry ingredients and give it a good whisk.
2. Rub in the butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds until dough comes together. Alternatively, you can pulse it a couple of times, a few seconds each time, in a food processor. You do not want to overwork this dough.
3. When the dough comes together, shape it into a log, cling wrap it and cool in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
4. Slice the logs into discs, roll it into a log and use your fingertips to taper the ends to form a crescent shape. My vanilla crescents are about 4.5cm in length. Place them onto parchment-lined trays, they barely spread so you can line them up pretty tightly. Let the vanilla crescents rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes before baking.
5. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 374°F. Bake for about 12- 15 minutes, until they begin to get a hint of colour and become firm. Allow them to rest for a minute or two before picking them up as they can be a little fragile when just out of the oven.
6. Prepare a bowl of vanilla sugar by whisking together the icing sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Place the vanilla crescents in the bowl of vanilla sugar and roll them around to coat them evenly. The vanilla sugar will coat it nicely when the crescents are still hot. Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before packing them in air-tight containers.