by Feli Chic'Cuisine
These Austrian cookies are delicious, buttery, vanilla-flavored, beautifully crumbly and melt in your mouth! Shortbread cookies called Vanillakipferl are traditionally made with a high butter content, ground almonds, and vanilla sugar, and are usually made without eggs. With these wonderfully light biscuits, you can immerse yourself in the Austrian Christmas spirit.
Even though adding egg yolk will make the dough easier to work with - softer and more pliable - I prefer the texture of Vanillekipferl made with egg whites. Crumb is lighter, looser, and crumblier with a delightful melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Vanillekipferl originated in Vienna, Austria around 400 years ago when, in celebration of a victory over the Ottoman Turks, the locals created this pastry in the shape of the crescent moon found on the Turkish banner.
Today, Vanillekipferl are especially popular around Christmastime, throughout Austria, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. Most Viennese coffee houses serve these cookies, especially at Christmastime, though they can be found throughout the year.
Makes: 55 cookies
Preparation Time: 40 min
Refrigerate Time: 60 min
Bake Time: 12 min
Total Time: 1 h 52 min
For the Dough
260 g butter, at room temperature, cubed
90 g icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
1 pinch salt
2 Vanilla pods or 2 tsp vanilla extract
zest from 1/2 lemon (bio)
380 g flour, sifted
90 g ground almonds (blanched)
2 egg whites
200 g icing (powdered) sugar
2 1/2 tsp Bourbon vanilla sugar or 4 tsp vanilla sugar
1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, or a wooden spoon, mix the butter with icing (powdered) sugar, salt, vanilla pulp (or sugar vanilla) and lemon zest. Add the flour and ground almonds. Using a fork, or your hands flake the ingredients together, until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Lightly beat the white eggs and add it into the flour mixture. Quickly knead everything into a smooth dough. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film or baking paper. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Set aside.
3. Cut small pieces of the dough and shape them into crescent-shape. Place the crescents onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden. Let the cookies sit for 1 minute.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the icing (powdered) sugar and vanilla sugar. Using a sifter dust the cookies with the vanilla-powdered sugar while they're still warm. Let the cookies cool completely and then give them a second dusting.
NOTE: Vanillakipferl are shortbread cookies traditionally made with a high butter content and usually without eggs. Even though adding egg yolk will make the dough easier to work with (softer and more pliable), I prefer the texture of Vanillekipferl made with egg whites. Crumb is lighter, looser, and crumblier with a delightful melt-in-your-mouth texture.
“Christmas now surrounds us, Happiness is everywhere. Our hands are busy with many tasks as carols fill the air."― Shirley Sallay