Vanillekipferl (Austrian Vanilla Crescent Cookies)

December 9, 2019 (Last Updated: January 13, 2020)
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Although many cultures have their own versions of vanilla shortbread, Vanillekipferl or Austrian Vanilla Crescent Cookies, are perhaps my favorite! They simply melt-in-your-mouth with a delicate base of ground almonds and intense vanilla. They are perfect for Christmastime but can be enjoyed year-round.

Vanillekipferl (Austrian Vanilla Crescent Cookies) on a snowman plate

I visited Prague in September, and included a Prague Food Tour as part of the itinerary. The very first stop on our food tour was a little gingerbread shop called Perníčkův sen (Gingerbread Man’s Dream), where we sampled several sweets including an unforgettable melt-in-your-mouth Austrian cookie called Vanillekipferl.

crescent shaped cookie dough on parchment paper

These delicate, buttery, crescent-shaped shortbread cookies are tender and crumbly, filled with ground almonds, laced with vanilla, and finished with a generous dusting of vanilla-infused powdered sugar. Apparently they are one of Austria’s most beloved cookies, and they are a staple at Christmastime. I decided then and there that I would be making a batch of my own this Christmas.

vanilla crescent cookies on a wire rack

They require a relatively short list of ingredients, although one of them is Vanillezucker or vanilla sugar. You can certainly purchase vanilla sugar, but you can also make your own! Simply bury a whole or scraped vanilla bean in a couple cups of granulated sugar, and store in an airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks. Vanilla sugar. There you go!

A box of crescent cookies covered in powdered sugar

This cookie dough is on the crumbly side, and if you’re familiar with shortbread this shouldn’t be a surprise. Just be patient, and don’t be overzealous as you try to roll out and shape your crescents. Although they are simple in appearance, they are packed with vanilla flavor, and seriously have the most magnificent texture. It’s like buttery, nutty, vanilla heaven in your mouth!

close up of a vanillekipferl cookie with a bite taken out

These cookies are quite small, but you can shape them larger (and bake them a tad longer) if you prefer. Regardless, I predict they will be a standout on your cookie tray this year!

a cookie tin filled with vanillekipferl crescent cookies

I baked some other fantastic European Christmas cookies this past weekend, and I’ll be sharing them in upcoming posts. Stay tuned.

a variety of Christmas cookies served on plates and in cookie tins

 

Vanillekipferl (Austrian Vanilla Crescent Cookies) on a snowman plate

Vanillekipferl (Austrian Vanilla Crescent Cookies)

Victoria
Although many cultures have their own versions of vanilla shortbread, Vanillekipferl or Austrian Vanilla Crescent Cookies, are perhaps my favorite! They simply melt-in-your-mouth with a delicate base of ground almonds and intense vanilla. They are perfect for Christmastime but can be enjoyed year-round.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Austrian
Servings 60 cookies
Calories 40 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 2/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon (175 g) all-purpose flour
  • 8 1/2 tablespoons (120 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar Vanillezucker*
  • 1 cup (100 g) very finely ground blanched almonds or almond meal
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Pinch kosher salt

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup (150 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar Vanillezucker*

Instructions
 

  • Put the flour, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla sugar, almond meal, egg yolk, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together, starting on low so the flour doesn’t fly everywhere, until a smooth dough develops.
  • Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and roll each portion into a 1-inch-thick cylinder. Wrap the rolls individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
  • When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove one roll from the refrigerator and cut it into 1/2-inch slices. Roll out each slice until it’s about 2-inches longer and the ends are tapered but not pointy (this may take a bit more pressing and shaping rather than simply rolling because the dough can be crumbly). Form each into a crescent and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough until the baking sheet is filled. The cookies should have about 1 inch of space between them on all sides.
  • Bake one pan at a time in the center of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to lightly brown at the edges. Repeat with the remaining pan of cookies.
  • To make the topping, in a wide, shallow bowl combine the powdered sugar and the vanilla sugar. Remove the cookies from the oven, let cool for only a minute or two, and then very carefully dredge them completely in the sugar. Place on a rack to finish cooling. The cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Notes & Nutrition

*To make your own vanilla sugar, bury a whole or scraped vanilla bean in 2 cups granulated sugar. Store in an airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks before using as regular, granulated sugar.
Adapted from Classic German Baking
Servings 60.0 * calories 40 * Total Fat 3 g * Saturated Fat 1 g * Monounsaturated Fat 0 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 7 mg * Sodium 1 mg * Potassium 1 mg * Total Carbohydrate 4 g * Dietary Fiber 0 g * Sugars 1 g * Protein 1 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Camille
    January 13, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    5 stars
    These cookies are SO good. They are similar to a butter ball but lighter. I can’t wait to make them and add them into my Christmas Cookie rotation, although I think they would be great any time of year and not just Christmas!

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