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Vanillekipferl : Vanilla Crescent Moon Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 c [minus 2 tbs] cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes [200 g]
  • 2 c all-purpose flour [300 g]
  • 1/2 c ground hazelnuts [or the nut meal of your choice] [50 g]
  • 1/2 c ground almonds [or the nut meal of your choice] [50 g]
  • 1/2 c icing sugar [100 g]
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar [9 grams, or 1 1/2 tsp homemade vanilla sugar]
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 fresh egg yolks

For the Moon-Dust

  • ½ c icing sugar [100 g]
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar [9 grams, or 1 1/2 tsp homemade vanilla sugar]

Instructions

  • Place the flour in a bowl or on a flat surface, and make a well in the centre.
  • Place the cubed butter in the middle of the well and mix with your hands or with a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles small peas or coarse crumbs.
  • Make another well in the mixture and add the ground nuts, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, and, to the very centre, the egg yolks.
  • By hand, combine and knead the dough. After a a few minutes, it will resemble a coarse mixture. In another minute or two, it will come together into a ball of dough.
  • Divide the dough in half and then shape each ball into a rope about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
  • Wrap each rope in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours [no more than 24].
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.
  • Working with one roll at a time, remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice off walnut-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a 3-inch rope. Use your palm and opposite pointer finger to shape each little rope into a crescent.
  • Place the crescents about a half-inch apart on a cookie sheet. [I can do 24 per sheet, or about half the batch / one rope!]
  • Bake 12 minutes, or until the tips of each moon have just begun to brown.
  • While the first batch of cookies is baking, mix the 1/2 cup icing sugar with the vanilla sugar packet for the "moon-dust" and set aside before forming your second sheet of cookies with the remaining dough.
  • Remove the first batch of baked cookies from the oven and allow to sit on the pan for 2 minutes.
  • Slide the warm cookies towards each other on the centre of the baking sheet [to conserve sugar] and, using a sieve and spoon or a tea-ball, coat the tops of the cookies liberally in the sugar mixture.
  • Cool completely. Repeat, as above, with the second batch of cookies. And ENJOY!
  • Cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. Though, it's unlikely you'll have them around that long!

Notes

I use these Dr. Oetker packets of Vanilla Sugar, but feel free to use homemade or bespoke!