Vanillekipferln: German Almond Crescent Cookies

I'm here to let you in on a little secret of mine.

Are you ready?

Are you SUUUURE?


I make the best cookies ever.

Ok, that might be a bit of an overstatement. But seriously these cookies are so good. They're requested every Christmas by all the family, and sometimes I make them throughout the year just for myself!

They're an old German recipe, often made during the Holidays. I used to make them to sell for the German Club before things went to sh*t there. Anyway they're seriously tasty. Of course, anything this delicious isnt exactly the most healthy, but hey, its Christmastime, who's keeping track? ;)

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup Butter, room temp
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • ~ 1 cup Almonds (slivered work best)
  • Powdered / Confectioners Sugar (for dusting)
  • Food processor (optional)
  • A large bowl
  • Mixer (optional, I've done it by hand with a fork before)
Now please note in the photos of the preparation, I made a TRIPLE recipe of these because I wanted to have enough to go around. (Thats how good these things are!) They already make a fairly large batch, so just be aware. Alright then, on we go..

First things first, the almonds. Now I know the ingredients says 1 cup, but a little extra definitely wont hurt. I usually just get these 1 1/3 cup bags and use the whole bag. (In this case, I had a 1 1/3 cup bag and a 1 2/3 cup bag, giving me 3 cups for 3 batches.)

Grind them up fairly small in a food processor. Now, back when I lived in a dorm and didnt have a food processor, I just smashed the almonds by hand and that worked fine, the dough was just very crumbly. So whatever works.

Add your 1 cup of butter (yes, that is a lot of butter) and 2/3 cup of sugar in the bowl and cream them together. The mixture should get fairly fluffy, but not overly so or you'll end up with very crumbly cookies.

Then add a tablespoon of vanilla extract, and a tablespoon and a half of almond extract. Mix these in well. Starting to smell good, huh!!

At this point I realized I needed a much bigger bowl if my triple batch was going to fit...

Ok, now this part can be a little difficult. Add the 2 1/2 cups of flour and the chopped up almonds and mix it all together as best as you can. It might be too tough for a mixer (mine definitely couldnt handle it, but yours might be higher quality..)

The dough you end up with will be crumbly, but the butter should hold it together nicely when you go to shape it. If seems too sticky, add a little more flour.

It would be around this time I would suggest preheating the oven to 350.

And here comes the fun part; time to get messy!

Take about a tablespoon or so of the dough. Roll it into a ball, making sure to squish it so it holds together nicely. Yes, you're going to get greasy.

Now take that ball and roll it between your hands to make a log shape. It should be about 2 inches long and about 1/2 inch thick. Gently fold that log into a crescent shape, as shown.

Lay those puppies out on a slightly greased cookie sheet. They dont spread a whole lot. but try and leave some space between them. The ones I have below are probably a little too close together, but I was trying to fit as many as I could since I was making such a huge batch.

Pop those puppies in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. They're not going to brown too much unless they're burnt, but they'll be darker than the dough.

I didnt get a photo of them out of the oven, so you'll have to use your imagination on this one. Put them on a cooling rack for a while until cool to the touch. Sometimes I leave them a little warm still so the powdered sugar sticks better, but its really up to you.

Roll the cooled cookies in powdered sugar. Eat the broken ones. This part is mandatory. There will be no sub-standard cookies here.

Aaaand they're done! Give them out to all your friends and relatives, they're sure to delight. OR just eat them all yourself, I've done that one too!

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