Christmas is just around the corner and all of us are probably looking forward to spending some quality time with family and friends. It is the time of the year when we are looking forward to relax, leave all our worries behind, and get ready to embrace all these lovely Christmas flavours out there. Especially the latter is always a great joy. After all, what better way is there to celebrate your holiday than with some awesome homemade food that just puts you even more in Christmas mood.
As most of us are getting ready to throw ourselves at some fantastic food (I certainly am 😉 ), have you maybe also thought about making something great yourself? I know, many recipes can be quite time-consuming and sound like a lot of work – and we certainly do not want to surprise our family with a dirty, messy and flour-covered kitchen. However, if you are looking for an amazing but incredibly easy-to-make treat, I have just the perfect recipe for you: Almond Crescents or in German: Vanillekipferl.
Personally, I absolutely love these traditional German/Austrian Christmas cookies – for me there is nothing like it. Even just the smell of them puts a big smile on my face. But I always thought they are quite tough to make. So this year, I felt like rolling up my sleeves and getting ready to make some myself – and probably ruin my kitchen while doing it. However, I was quite surprised how easy (and fun) they are to make. Also, the result was so good that even my auntie would have nothing to add but an acknowledging nod.
So why don’t you give it a go as well, and surprise your family and friends with some homemade traditional German Christmas cookies? They consist of just six easy-to-get ingredients and take no prep time. Follow these simple instructions and get ready to taste a great piece of Christmas tradition:
Ingredients (makes around two trays):
200g ground almonds
560g plain flour
100g icing sugar, plus some more for dusting
400g unsalted butter, room temperature
4 egg yolks
20ml liquid vanilla extract (alternatively use some vanilla-flavoured sugar)
1. Sift the flour into a big bowl, and then add all the other ingredients.
2. Knead everything into a firm dough – you can use your hands, but a hand mixer is a lot easier of course. Make sure all the ingredients are very well mixed before you go on.
3. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C / 160⁰C fan-oven.
4. Prepare a tray with some parchment/baking paper on it. Also flour your worktop.
5. Take a piece from the dough and form little balls of dough with a diameter of around an inch.
6. Then, take one ball at a time to your worktop, and start rolling it into a slice that is about as thick as a finger. Then, form it into a little crescent (see picture below).
7. Place it onto the baking paper and tray.
8. Once the tray is full, bake the crescents at 180⁰C / 160⁰C fan-oven for around 12-15 minutes. You will know they are perfectly done when the tips of the crescents are a little brown.
9. Then, remove the crescents from the tray, but be CAREFUL… they break easily when they are still warm.
10. Finally, dust the crescents with some icing sugar and let them cool completely. If you keep them in a lidded container, you can easily store them for at least one week.
Congratulations! You have just successfully baked an absolute German-Austrian classic for Christmas. Vanillekipferl are a wonderful little gift to bring or make when you visit family and friends during the Christmas season. However, please be aware that once your loved ones have tasted them, you will have to make them every year. 😉 So I hope you have enjoyed this recipe as much as I did.
I wish you a merry Christmas. Enjoy your break and I will see you next year.
All the best,