I just look up Vanillekipferl and if there is an English word. Apparently not, but the English Wikipedia knows what it is. Vanillekipferl are staples for Christmas, I don’t even think we have it any other time (most of our Christmas cookies are really just for Advent time and Christmas). Those little fellas were usually made by my grandmother on my father’s side because she comes from Austria and this is essentially an Austrian delicacy. They are simply to make, but somewhat time consuming.
As I said, my grandmother used to make them, but mostly when we were not home. She had the kitchen to herself, no loud children and could just work away. I think I saw her once or maybe twice making them but I wasn’t old enough to really take an interest. Other cookies were more fun to make. This time was the first time I made them, fortunately my mother has the recipe which she passed on to me.
- 250g flour
- pinch of baking powder
- 125g sugar
- 30g vanilla sugar or 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 egg yolk
- 200g margarine
- 125g ground almond
Like most Christmas baking in Germany you have to knead the dough until it is one smooth ball. Take some of the dough, form a ball and roll it into a tube with the end being somewhat smaller. Bend it into a horse shoe shape and place it on a cookie sheeted lined with baking paper.
Bake at 180°C for about 10 min until the ends are slightly brown. Let them cool a little and then either use regular sugar or icing sugar to coat them. You can add some vanilla sugar to the coating as well. Be careful with these cookies, they tend to break easily, which is ok because they are still good but not so pretty if you want to give it away.
Interesting: Kipferl describes the shape of this cookie and other baked goods. The croissant is also a Kipferl although it is made from a different dough.
Tip 1 : If you are doing Christmas baking, especially German, then you might want to make your own vanilla sugar. You need to buy real vanilla beans, cut them in half and stick them in a container of sugar. Let this sit for a week, better two and you have your own vanilla sugar. Or you just buy the vanilla sugar from Dr. Oetker.
Tip 2: German Christmas baking often involves ground almonds or hazelnuts. I recommend you buy a bigger package of regular nuts and use your food processor to grind them. It might not turn out as fine as the store bought one but at least you can do the precise grams (or cups if you prefer). The store bought ground almond are 100g per package…you need 125g for this recipe. I think you see where I am going.