Vanillekipferl are 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.
Customers linger for hours in the Schanigartens munching these scrumptious vanilla cookies and sipping coffee without a care in the world. These cookies are also wildly popular for Advent but continue to be served long after because they’re just that good.
Not surprisingly, these delicious little delicacies have traveled with their European hosts to bakeries and dinner tables across America. Jetzt können Sie Vanillekipferl genießen!
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 and wholesome. It’s so much fun to use typical everyday ingredients to create something special and culturally significant.
Here are even more reasons to love this recipe.
- Wholesome everyday ingredients
- Delicious nutty complexity
- Dredged in powdered sugar
- Ideal for sharing-friendly smiles
- 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!
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.
You’ll need to 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 in your vanillekipferl recipe, they should go into the oven or the fridge. Just don’t let them sit out at room temp.
This vanillekipferl recipe calls for simple wholesome ingredients you may already have sitting in your kitchen. Who knew you had cultural influences at your fingertips? Here’s what it takes.
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 but it’s totally up to you. The imitation vanilla can sometimes leave a bitter alcohol flavor that I don’t care for.
Flour – All-purpose flour is fine for this vanillekipferl recipe. 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.
Sugar – You’ll need granulated sugar to make these little cookies and powdered sugar to dredge them in. I can’t think of a tastier combination!
Storing this vanillekipferl recipe is easier than you may think. They may have a melt-in-your-mouth texture but they’re far from fragile! Keep these babies in an airtight container in a cool dry place for best results.
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!
Make Ahead Tips
If I’m gonna’ take the time to craft these babies, I like to whip up a double batch. It just seems more productive and I know they’re going to get gobbled up. That way I’ve got plenty to enjoy myself and I can make up gift boxes to share the holiday cheer. These little vanilla nut cookies are great for parties too.
How Long Can You Keep This?
This vanillekipferl recipe will keep for a couple of weeks when stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Good luck keeping them that long, though! These buttery melt-in-your-mouth vanilla cookies tend to disappear quickly.
These little vanillekipferl are some of my favorite Christmas cookies and tweaking them to suit your family or start your own tradition is simple. Here are a couple of suggestions.
- Dredge them in cinnamon sugar instead
- Toast the almond meal before making your cookies
- Use walnuts or hazelnuts in place of almonds
- Dip them in chocolate
Can Use Pecans Instead?
This vanillekipferl recipe may work with pecans but I’ve never tried it that way. If you’ve got pecans on the brain, try making pecan shortbread cookies instead. Mexican wedding cookies are another similar favorite but one of the best ways to use up extra pecans is to make Christmas crack!
Can I Add Chocolate?
Dipping these little vanillekipferl cookies in chocolate will give you something like chocolate shortbread cookies. I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate Christmas cookies? If you’re a chocolate fanatic like I am, you can also try making double chocolate snowballs. They’re a Christmas staple in my kitchen.
Can I Add Cinnamon To This Recipe?
Making traditional German Christmas cookies means filling the kitchen with smells of Lebkuchen and vanillekipferl. The scent of these sweet decadent cookies is enough to draw the neighbors in.
Since you’re dredging things in powdered sugar you can throw together some Danish wedding cookies too. If you get really froggy, you can make a gingerbread man and dredge him in powdered sugar!
Can I Turn These Into Christmas Butter Cookies?
These vanillekipferl are some of the best little Christmas butter cookies I’ve come across since cream cheese spritz cookies! Chocolate spritz cookies are another buttery option for yummy German Christmas cookies. This combination makes a delicious platter full of Christmas flavors.
What Other Desserts Can I Make With Vanilla?
Making vanillekipferl is a Christmas tradition in many homes and it’s easy to see why. Cookies just make the holiday season a little sweeter and vanilla is one of the most popular flavors. It’s sweet and neutral and delicate. Plus, it just works with so many different recipes!
Vanilla wafer cookies and vanilla meringue cookies both make a fabulous addition to any holiday tradition. Of course, this vanilla macaron recipe is a decadent option too. It’s hard to stop once you get started making vanillekipferl!
- 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. Dough will be crumbly but should come together when shaped and compressed. If 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.
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Making almond cookies is one of the best Christmas cookie traditions because there are just so many different recipes. The tempting combination of fun and delicious is simply irresistible!
Throw in a little cultural influence and you’ve got yourself an unparalleled cookie experience. Here are some other almond cookies recipes you may enjoy.
- Almond Joy Bars – You’ll never buy an Almond Joy again!
- Almond Biscotti Recipe – Crunchy twice-baked bliss straight from Italy.
- Almond Shortbread Cookies – Sweet buttery cookie love on a platter.
- Almond Crescent Cookies – Divinely inspired buttery tea cookies.
- Chinese Almond Cookies – Light crunchy Chinese style pastries.
The tradition of making vanillekipferl was made popular in Europe and spread quickly. These sweet toasty little gems make incredible Christmas cookies but they’re tasty enough to be enjoyed year-round. These irresistible little crescent-shaped cookies make fantastic gifts and even better snacks.
Travel to the Schanigartens and savor the sweet flavor of these crunchy little gems in every single bite! Köstlich!