Oh February. How near you are now. Christmas this year seemed to vanish at a faster speed than usual. I had been anticipating my German boy’s arrival for nearly 12 months, and I couldn’t believe how quickly our two weeks together disappeared. I had every hour of our time together planned out better than a royal wedding–except for the 25 minutes my family spent singing Feliz Navidad at dinner while using the table scape as a drum set. That was strictly improv. (And on the off-chance that our nut-house inspires you [well why wouldn’t it?], a pair of colliding chestnuts makes a pretty efficient metronome.)
I guess it shouldn’t surprise me how it all flew by, though, considering I had been planning his visit since September. Weeks of anticipation and over just like that. Leaving nothing behind but a tin of homemade cookies and, I’ll admit, a spritz of Joop on Mr. Teddy Bear. sigh. [we’re cheesy I know. it’s a sickness really.]
But these cookies. These two-bite, melt-in-your-mouth, just-enough-sugar, perfectly-shaped-for-dunking cookies. If it weren’t for these little pick-me-ups, post-departure life would not have been the same. I wouldn’t have had anything to grief-eat as I cried my way home from the airport. I practically used them as a pacifier. Nor, would I have had anything keeping my rum-spiked hot chocolate company later that evening.
But okay. It sounds a lot worse than it was.
Vanillekipferl – (Almond Crescent Cookies)
(Yield: 3 dozen)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds or hazelnuts (I prefer almonds)
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vanilla sugar for rolling – I purchased some at Williams-Sonoma
Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in butter with pastry blender, then knead into a dough.
Shape dough into logs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a half hour.
Preheat often to 325 degrees F. Cut off 1/2 inch pieces on each log. Shape each piece into a crescent and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake approximately 8-10 minutes. Cool 1 minute and carefully roll, while warm, in vanilla sugar.
These cookies can also be dipped in chocolate and left to cool, or rolled in powdered sugar. Very traditional to Austria and Germany. And delicious!
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