Let’s talk about Holiday Baking for a bit. As usual, I talked a big game and I’ve only posted three quasi-Christmas desserts in the last two weeks. I had BIG plans to do a Twelve Days of International Christmas Cookies segment on the blog and well… that’s just not happening anymore. But I do have these German Christmas cookies for you, Vanillekipferl!
Vanillekipferl are essentially butter cookies, typically made with ground almonds, but there are some variations made with ground walnuts, with a strong vanilla flavor from vanilla sugar, which you can easily make at home! My friend, Lara, introduced me to these cookies as the quintessential German Christmas cookie along with some other German Christmas traditions like putting your shoes out on December 5th for Sinterklaas to fill with candy or coal from Black Peter if you’ve been naughty… And that’s not just an empty threat to scare children either, they will actually put coal in your shoe!
Speaking of children, naughty or nice, this is a great recipe to bake with children! They are super easy to throw together when you’re short on time and there’s lots of hand rolling and shaping involved, kind of like Play-Do… Ahh, the good old days.
Vanillekiperfl by The Bite-Sized Baker:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
125 grams (4.5 ounces) almond meal
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
200 grams (7 ounces) butter, softened
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- To make the cookies, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla sugar, and egg yolk and mix until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together.
- If you can’t find vanilla sugar at your local grocery store, you can make it at home using 1 vanilla bean for every 6 ounces of granulated sugar. Split vanilla bean in half and place in glass jar with sugar, cover, and shake well. Let sit for a few days, occasionally shaking jar, before using vanilla sugar.
- Lightly flour a surface and roll dough into a cylinder and divide into 48 equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a smaller cylinder, taper the ends, and bend into a crescent. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheet spaced 1” apart and bake until golden, about 8-12 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sift confectioners’ sugar over while still warm. Let cool.
- Makes 48 servings.