Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vanillekipferl or half moon vanilla biscuits!

In the previous post I shared with you a recipe that I grew up with, those oriental pancakes, a pre-Christmas delicacy, filled with nuts and a slight hint of spices that would bring warmth into cold December days and nights.

Today I will share another recipe, that I discovered by the end of 2005.

For almost a decade I shared my living spaces in Madrid with different people from across the world. I co-rented with French, Japanese  Americans,... with which I shared some quality moments. Sharing the flat also meant long talks in the kitchen, midnight chats from bedroom door to another, and the best was having international dinners, where each would make a typical dish from his country. Sharing food and recipes for me is always the highlight of sharing a flat!

One cold december day, when I got home, as I stepped in I was greeted with this incredible aroma of a baked sweet. I got into the kitchen and my flatmate at that time, Rebecca, a great German girl with whom I shared fond memories, was baking these white crescent shaped cookies. She asked me to try one and it was delicious. I still have her recipe written in Spanish on a small piece of paper.

As I try new and exciting recipes all the time, I got to do Rebecca's recipe only once. However, as winter creeps in and below freezing temperatures are becoming more frequent in the long Madrid nights, I decided to do these cookies again since they go along perfectly with a big warm cup of coffee or even a warm glass of wine.

It is not clear where this recipe originated, some say it´s a Hungarian recipe, some say it´s Austrian, and other say it is a specialty of the Bavarian city of Norldlingen! Perhaps they were inspired by the almond snowdrops, after all they are very similar in terms of ingredients and texture, by these ones are characterized by their vanilla flavor.

Anyways, during Christmas those cookies are enjoyed in many countries, and they can also be found in many Viennese coffee shops all year long.

As for the recipe few ingredients are needed, I made half batch and got almost 28 cookies, and to make them you will need:
  • 25 g toasted ground almonds
  • 25 g toasted ground hazelnuts
  • 140 g flour
  • 35 white sugar
  • 100 g butter pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

To make thing easier,put the butter,salt and flour in a food processor, pulse for few seconds until combined. Add the nuts and sugar and pulse again. When all combined add the egg yolk and the vanilla, pulse again then transfer the mixture onto a surface and with your hands work the dough a bit to make sure everything is well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and put in the fridge for about an hour.
Take your dough out, and form your crescent, I took pieces of 10 to 12 gr each, I think they make perfect cookies, bigger is just too much.

When done forming the crescents, just leave them for about 10 to 15 min in the fridge, then bake them for about 10 to 15 min in a preheated oven (180 C). You know they are done when you see that the edges are golden brown.

Let them cool for few minutes, then put them in a bowl that has 25 g of vanilla sugar and a 1/4 cup of icing sugar, give them a big coating and it´s done. Easy and quick way to get crumbly and full of flavor cookies!

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