Vanillekipferl, also known as Almond Crescent Cookies, are traditional German-Austrian cookies with a wonderful vanilla-almond flavor. These sweet and buttery crescent-shaped cookies will simply melt in your mouth.
These shortbread cookies are easy to make. Their distinctive almond and vanilla flavor combination makes them incredibly addicting.
Dusted with vanilla-infused sugar, these delicious cookies will have everyone reaching for more.
Why This Recipe Works
Staples Ingredients - All of the ingredients are staples you can easily find in your local supermarket.
Cookie Exchange - These cookies are also a great recipe for a cookie exchange. As an added bonus, when baking these German cookies, your house will be filled will the most wonderful Christmas-y aromas.
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
ALMONDS - Use 1 cup of almonds and grind them in a food processor. I've always ground the almonds myself but technically speaking, you could also use almond meal (not almond flour) like the ones you can find at Trader Joe's.
FLOUR - Use all-purpose flour for this recipe.
BUTTER - Be sure to use unsalted butter. Allow the butter to rise to room temperature.
SUGAR - We’ll need three types of sugar for this recipe:
- Vanilla Sugar - you can find Dr. Oetker Vanilla Sugar in the baking aisle of most major supermarkets. For this recipe, you will need 2 sachets.
- Granulated sugar - Regular, plain sugar.
- Confectioners sugar - also known as powdered sugar. If you don't have any, you can make your own by blending granulated sugar in a food processor until it's superfine, powdery sugar.
Vanilla sugar is a standard ingredient in a lot of German baking recipes.
While in the US, we use vanilla extract, in Germany, we use vanilla sugar. You could use vanilla extra to make the dough, it wouldn't work for the sugar coating. So you have a couple of choices. Buy some at your local supermarket or make your own.
Making your own Vanilla Sugar
You can also easily make your own vanilla sugar. My Oma (grandmother in German) used to always make her own vanilla sugar.
She kept granulated sugar in an airtight container and added a used split vanilla bean into the sugar. Over time the aroma of the vanilla bean infuses the sugar and makes it 'vanilla sugar'.
Purchasing Vanilla Sugar
But since you'll probably want to make the recipe straight away, I recommend buying or ordering Dr. Oetker's Vanilla Sugar.
Most major supermarkets (except Whole Foods or Trader Joe's) carry this sugar. You'll find it in the baking aisle.
How To Make Vanillekipferl
- Grind almonds in a small food processor until they have the consistency of bread crumbs. Set aside.
- Cream granulated sugar, vanilla sugar, and butter. Add ground almonds and flour and beat until the dough becomes crumbly.
- Using your hands, shape the dough into a large dough ball, wrap it in plastic, and chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.
- Use a small cookie scoop to make small cookie balls. Shape each ball into a crescent.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350° Fahrenheit.
- Remove the cookies from the oven. Set aside for 1-2 minutes. The cookies should still be warm.
- Combine the confectioners and powdered sugar. Give the warm cookies a quick sugar dusting.
SPEKULATIUS - Classic German spice shortbread cookies. Made with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and even a dash of white pepper. These sweet shortbread cookies are simple and incredibly delicious.
How To Store Almond Crescent Cookies
Traditionally, in Germany, Christmas cookies are stored in tin cans like this one. Vanillekipferl are a modified shortbread cookie recipe. And shortbread cookies last for weeks without spoiling.
So you can easily store these cookies for 4-6 weeks without losing flavor. That said, I've never seen a batch of Vanillekiperfl last this long. At least not in a house full of 'cookie aficionados.'
You can also store the cookies in airtight cookie jars, which will last for several weeks.
Freezing Almond Crescent Cookies
But what happens if you've accidentally made too many batches and want to freeze them? No problem.
Store the cookies in a ziplock bag and make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible. Due to their low water content, Almond Crescent Cookies freeze beautifully and retain their flavor after defrosting.
Just For Dog Lovers
Now I understand not everybody feeds their dog human food. But I think it's ok to share a special treat with your favorite pup - in moderation, of course.
Before we give anything to our pup, we make sure it's dog-friendly. It turns out dogs love the taste of almonds. That being said, almonds can also be difficult to digest for dogs.
So if you want to spoil your pup and share a cookie, make sure he or she doesn't have super a sensitive stomach.
I've crumbled a bit of almond cookie over Riley's dry food and had a very happy pup who was busy licking his food bowl.
More Deliciously Easy Cookie Recipes
CINNAMON TWISTS - Inspired by German "Zimtstangen," this recipe has just four simple ingredients.
KEY LIME COOKIES - Light and airy cookies. Try making these with Meyer's Lemons!
PISTACHIO PUDDING COOKIES istachio - Simple, soft, chewy, and delicious!
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE COOKIES - Tender and moist cookies are always gone in no time and are a great, no-bake cookie recipe.
OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES - Soft, chewy, and quick to make. This is my go-to recipe when anyone in my family is craving cookies.
Vanillekipferl (Almond Crescent Cookies)
FOR THE DOUGH
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Grind almonds in a small food processor.
- Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add in ground almonds and flour. Continue to beat until the dough is becomes crumbly.
- Transfer the dough onto a work surface and shape into a large dough ball. Wrap the dough ball in plastic and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Use a cookie scoop to make tablespoon sized mini dough balls. Roll and shape the mini dough balls into crescent shapes and place them onto the baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 20 minutes at 350º Fahrenheit. Allow to cookies to cool for a couple of minutes. They should still be warm but not hot.
- Combine powdered sugar and vanilla sugar in a shallow bowl.
- Dust the warm almond crescent cookies with the sugar mixture. Transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack until they have completely cooled.