Austrian vanilla kipferl or crescents for Xmas!
Vanillekipferln (vanilla crescents) - Recipe using grams
(Makes about 70 pieces)
140 g soft butter or margarine
100 g sugar
1 vanilla pod *
2 egg yolks
200 g flour
100 g ground almonds
For the cover:
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp powder sugar
Preparation time: 1 hour
Resting time: 1 hour
Baking time: 12 mins
Beat the butter until creamy and slowly add sugar. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and add half of the scraped bean. Add the egg yolks and beat until creamy. Mix the flour and almonds. Roll the batter with floured hands into three 2 cm rolls. Wrap them in greased paper and leave them in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease cookie sheets or cover them with baking paper. Cut finger thick slices from the rolled batter. With floured hands roll the slices into little sausage-like pieces, turning the pointed ends, like a crescent. Place them on the sheets in the middle of the oven and bake for 12 minutes. The kipfel should remain light in colour.
Take the rest of the scraped bean, mix with it with the two sugars and toss the kipferl, placing them on racks to cool.
You can substitute the almonds for hazelnuts, or pecans.
Crescents are the shape that Austrians use most frequently, but I have also seen them prepared as one inch balls.
I have seen recipes where they use egg yolks, but also some, where no eggs are used.
* In Austria they only sell real vanilla, which Is quite expensive, but for baking purposes people use what they call vanilla sugar, which is a form of vanillin, as they don’t have any liquid vanilla extract. I would suggest you substitute 1 tsp of vanilla extract for the vanilla pod.
Hazelnutkipferln (hazelnut crescents)
Substitute 100 gm roasted hazelnuts for the almonds.
Roast the hazelnuts in a pan and let cool. Prepare the batter just like for Vanillekipferl, substituting ground and roasted hazelnuts for the almonds.
Schokoladekipferln (chocolate crescents)
Prepare recipe just like for Vanillekipferl, adding 100 g grated bitter chocolate and 2 tbsp rum to the ingredients.
Zimtbrezeln (cinnamon pretzels)
(Makes about 60 pieces)
Prepare recipe just like for Vanillekipferl, substituting the almonds for 100 g flour and 1 tsp cinnamon. After cooling the rolls, cut 1.5 cm slices and roll them into 10 cm long sausage-like rolls, which are then formed into pretzels with the ends firmly placed together. Bake and let cool. Mix 100 g of powder sugar with 2 tbsp of rum or hot water and brush the ready kipferl with this frosting. Place on a kitchen rack to dry.
Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican wedding cakes (Recipe using cups)
1 cup butter
½ cup powder sugar
t tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat over to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour and baking soda until well blended. Stir in pecans. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 1.5 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheets. Or, roll dough by teaspoonfuls into balls . Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until edges begin to brown lightly. Remove cookies from baking sheets; cool on racks. While warm, sift powdered sugar generously over tops. Makes 55 to 60 1.5 inch cookies.