Adapted from Gebäck für Festliche Stunden (Vehling Verlag, 1991) by Julia Schulenburg
If there’s one recipe that evokes the Christmas spirit, it’s Vanillekipferl. A traditional cookie baked across Austria and southern Germany, these crunchy, melting little crescents offer flavors of vanilla and hazelnut. They take barely half an hour to make and fill the house with the warm scent of festivities to come.
- 9 ounces flour (about 2 cups)
- 3 ounces sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more, to coat
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3 ounces toasted, ground hazelnuts
Heat oven to 350˚F. Add ingredients to large bowl, and knead to combine. If dough becomes too sticky, chill in refrigerator.
Remove dough from bowl. Roll walnut-sized pieces into balls. Working one at a time, use hands to roll each ball into crescent shape. Make crescent tips slightly thinner.
Arrange crescents ½-inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 9–12 minutes, until golden brown. Dust with confectioners’ sugar while warm. Makes 30–40 cookies.
Hager Matthias 2015 Zweigelt Trockenbeerenauslese (Niederösterreich). An Austrian sticky—a sweet dessert wine—would do very well here. While there are many beautiful white options to try, a Zweigelt-based selection will impress with complementary tones of sweet berry fruits. Mulled red wine would also chime with both the cookie and the season.