Vanillekipferl is tasty little crescent-shaped German cookies that are hand molded and dredged heavily in powdered sugar.
These beautiful Christmas cookies are the most popular cookies in Europe, and with good reason. They’re a shortbread type cookie so they have that decadent melt in your mouth quality everyone loves.
I have to admit, during the holidays I go a little overboard making Christmas treats. I love to serve trays loaded with cookies of all shapes, sizes, flavors, and origins. Finding new and unique varieties is a yearly passion.
This vanillekipferl recipe fit beautifully into that tradition, and knowing I’m Christmas cookie obsessed you know I won’t steer you wrong, friends!
Not surprisingly, these delicious little delicacies have traveled alongside Biscoff cookies with their European hosts to trays served next to Christmas crack and Spritz cookies across America.
What I Love About This Vanillekipferl Recipe
First, I love the unique flavor of this vanillekipferl recipe. It’s light and buttery with plenty of toasty complexity. You never can have just one! I also love that the recipe is simple!
- Delicious nutty complexity
- Dredged in powdered sugar
- Perfect for making with kiddos
Creating these tasty little guys is as easy as following the right vanillekipferl recipe. Here’s a couple of tips to ensure success!
- Dough Texture: When you get all ingredients combined, the dough should be crumbly (like an almond meal) but it should hold its shape when pressed together. If it seems too wet and you feel you should add some flour, limit it to a tablespoon at a time.
- Refrigerate: refrigerate the dough for half an hour before shaping and baking. Fridge time is important for a couple of reasons. It helps concentrate the flavor, controls spreading, and makes for a delightfully crispier cookie texture.
- Also, once you shape the little crescent cookies, they should go into the oven or the fridge. Just don’t let them sit out at room temp.
- Butter: You’ll want to use unsalted butter for this recipe because you’ll be adding salt later to intensify flavor and sweetness. Your butter should be cold but soft meaning it should spread easily.
- Vanilla: I like to use genuine vanilla extract for this recipe. The imitation vanilla can sometimes leave a bitter alcohol flavor that I don’t care for.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is fine. Keep in mind that you may need up to a quarter cup extra depending on the texture of your dough.
- Almonds: You’ll want your almonds to be finely ground before measuring them out. You can purchase them this way or grind them yourself. Skins are optional.
- Salt: Don’t skip the salt in this recipe. In the small amount called for, it enhances the sweetness and intensifies the flavor.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
This vanilla crescent cookies recipe will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days and will last up to 2-3 weeks when stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Good luck keeping them that long, though! This buttery melt-in-your-mouth vanillekipferl recipe tends to disappear quickly.
Can You Freeze This?
Technically, yes and no. This vanillekipferl recipe is probably best baked fresh. I have never tried to freeze the raw dough before baking it.
However, I have thrown a batch of these babies in the freezer for safekeeping after they’ve cooled, and they were just fine! Generally, baked cookies will last up to 6-8 months in the freezer.
- Add ginger. You can add 1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger or if you want a more traditional ginger cookie, try my soft gingerbread cookies or German spice cookies called Lebkuchen. I told you I love unique Christmas cookies (These cookies are a personal fav, btw!)
- Add cinnamon. These would be lovely with 1 teaspoon cinnamon or you could try my cinnamon sugar cookies (#2 on Google for good reason!!)
- Use other nuts. Switch almonds for pecans and bake some or check out my pecan shortbread cookies or butter pecan cookies this holiday season!
More Christmas Cookies Recipes
- Christmas Butter Cookies
- Italian Christmas Cookies
- Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Christmas Cookies
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (plus 2 teaspoons) vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups finely ground almonds
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, (up to a 1/4 cup extra flour if needed)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside
- In a mixing bowl using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in vanilla extract.
- Scrape down the bowl and add the almonds, flour, and salt. Knead with your fingers until dough comes together. The dough will be crumbly but should come together when shaped and compressed. If the dough is too stick to neatly shape, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Do not add more than 1/4 cup totally. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
- Using a small scoop, form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll ball out and shape into a crescent. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Refrigerate dough in between shaping batches.
- Bake in preheated oven 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove to a wire rack until cool enough to handle. While cookies are still warm, roll in confectioners' sugar. Return to wire rack and cool completely. Dust with more powdered sugar before serving or storing.
Fans Also Made:
- Finely ground the almonds before measuring it.
- When you get all ingredients combined, the dough should be crumbly (like an almond meal) but it should hold its shape when pressed together.
- You’ll need to refrigerate the dough for half an hour before shaping and baking.
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