Vanilla crescents are a traditional german-austrian christmas pastry in crescent shape. It is based on a short pastry made of flour, butter, sugar and an egg yolk. To get the typical taste and consistency for the “Kipferl” you add vanilla, ground almonds and hazelnuts to the dough.
After baking, still slightly warm, the vanilla crescents are coated with a vanilla-powdered sugar mixture. They are so delicious and should not be missing on your cookie plate this holiday season.
Tools & Equipment
- 2 large baking sheets
- Cookie cutter
- Medium bowl
- Parchment paper
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
- Small bowl
- Stand mixer fitted with the dough hook
Shape: I used a cookie cutter to shape the crescents. You don’t need to do that, because you can also shape them wonderfully by hand. Shaping by hand: divide the dough into three portions and then form each into a roll with a 2cm / 0,8-inch diameter. Cut the dough rolls into pieces of 3cm / 1,2-inch length and form small crescents.
Baking: make sure not to overbake the crescents. You don’t want the tips to be dark but not too soft either, therefore check after 8 minutes.
Coating: just let them cool slightly. If they get too cold, the sugar will not stick. As they break easily while still warm, gently coat them in the sugar mix and then cool completely on a wire rack.
How to make Vanilla Crescents
Gather your ingredients.
Mix almonds and hazelnuts with the flour. In a large bowl of a stand mixer beat butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and egg yolk until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the flour-nut mixture and knead to a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 170°C / 340˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 2cm / 0,8-inch and cut out the crescents. Transfer them to the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Combine sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar. Carefully coat the slightly cooled crescents in the sugar mixture. Let them cool entirely on a wire rack.
Storage: do not mix the vanilla crescents with other cookies. Stored in an airtight container, they stay fresh for about 3 weeks.
My Summary for Vanilla Crescents
Taste: the vanilla crescents have a delicious vanilla flavor. They taste buttery and nutty.
Texture: made of short pastry, soft in the center and slightly crispy on the outside with a coating of sugar.
PROS: easy to make, delicious and a perfect gift.
CONS: this recipe is a little more time-consuming as the dough has to be refrigerated before baking. But it is really worth it.
More “Holiday” Recipes
- Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Bundt Cake
- Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Fudge
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Peppermint Bark Cookies
- Speculoos Babka
For the Crescents
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g ground hazelnuts
- 250g all-purpose flour (550)
- 175g butter, at room temperature
- 100g granulated sugar
- 24g vanilla sugar
- 1 egg yolk
For the Sugar Coating
- 50g granulated sugar
- 25g powdered sugar
- 12g vanilla sugar
- Mix ground almonds and hazelnuts with the flour in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and egg yolk until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour-nut mixture and knead to a smooth dough.
- Wrap in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Once chilled, preheat the oven to 170°C / 340˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 2cm / 0,8-inch and cut out the crescents.
- Transfer them to the prepared baking sheets, making sure that there is enough space between the crescents. Bake on the center rack for 8-10 minutes.
- Combine sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar.
- Carefully coat the slightly cooled crescents in the sugar mixture - make sure they are completely covered.
- Let them cool entirely on a wire rack.
Recipe adapted from bake to the roots.