by Eva Felis on December 10, 2013
One of Germany’s favorite Christmas cookie is actually of Austrian origin, Vienna to be precise. I didn’t know that or I did and forgot about that and at the end, it doesn’t matter at all. What matters, and I might totally disagree at this point with most of Germany’s population, is that they are mainly baked during Christmas season (to my disapproval – to repeat myself) and not all year long. You might find it then and there but rarely and that’s not acceptable. Free vanilla kipferl!
There are versions out there with hazelnuts or without any nuts, but the ones I like most are the ones with almonds. I used almond meal because I had it on hand and to be honest I had been lazy, but you can easily grind your own in your food processor. And don’t bother peeling the almonds, their skin adds even more flavor to the game. The other tasty fact about this kipferl, is their flakiness. And this recipe makes them extra special flaky. I borrowed the idea of bringing tiny pieces of cold butter into the dough, from making pie dough. I used my food processor, but you can also make the dough by hand and chop the cold butter into the dough or rub with your fingers, again the same technique you would use for making pie dough. If you had been brainy a couple weeks ago and added your old and used vanilla pod to a jar filled with sugar, you might have vanilla flavored sugar by now and might wanna use this fragrant sugar for the kipferl. And if not make up for this and store your “empty” vanilla pods in a sugar jar for future tasty pleasures.
makes about 40-50
- 250 g / 8.8 oz. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 130 g / 4.6 oz. almond meal
- 80 g / 2.8 oz. granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- 200 g / 7 oz. unsalted butter, cold
- 3 egg yolks from large eggs
- seeds of one vanilla bean
- about 120 g / 1 cup powdered sugar
- Add dry ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and mix.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients, pulse until small peas appear. Add the egg yolks and the seeds of the vanilla bean and pulse just until combined. The dough will be crumbly but hold it’s shape when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the dough to another bowl and knead quickly with your hands. Press into a ball, wrap and chill in your fridge for one hour.
- Preheat your oven to 175 C / 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Work in batches, using your hand, roll dough into finger-thick ropes. The dough is a little crumbly at the beginning until it warms up while working with your hands. Cut into 5 cm / 2 inch pieces and form a crescent with tapered ends. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Roll and form the second batch of cookies while the first one is baking.
- The kipferl are very fragile while hot but sturdy when cold. Transfer the cookies into a cookie tin and cover generously with powdered sugar.
- You can store them for at least 4 weeks in an airtight container, they age well.