VANILLEKIPFERL with a maple twist
Vanillekipferl are up there among my all time favorite Christmas cookies. Literally translated: Vanilla Crescent. Literally delicious, that is.
They are buttery, of course, because what German Christmas cookie isn't buttery? They're also zippy as all get out. You'll be in and out of the kitchen in under an hour. I had some extra maple sugar lying around so I used it in lieu of granulated for an absolutely glorious flavor. But if all you've got is plain ol' sugar? That's perfectly fine...and delicious.
VANILLEKIPFERL with maple
(Makes 38 cookies)
7 ounces all purpose flour
3 ounces maple sugar (NOT syrup. This is actually granulated maple sugar. You can swap out granulated sugar, one for one)
6 ounces unsalted butter, cold
3.5 ounces almond flour
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (can swap out vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup confectioner's sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a sheet pan with parchment or Silpat. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the all purpose flour, sugar (maple or traditional granulated), almond flour and salt. Whisk until well combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks and vanilla bean paste. Set aside.
Using the largest holes on a box grater, grate the butter atop the flour mixture. Using your fingers, massage the butter into the flour until it's evenly distributed. Add the yolk mixture and gently knead the dough until the yolk is evenly distributed and the dough holds together.
Alternatively, combine the flour, sugar, almond flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter in small pieces and pulse to combine. While pulsing, add the yolk/vanilla mixture and continue pulsing until the dough just comes together.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into 38 small pieces (each will weight just a tiny bit over .5 ounces).
Roll each piece in to a ball and then roll out to about 3 inches, slightly tapering the ends.
Curve into a crescent and place onto the sheet pan. You can place them close together but not touching, as they expand only slightly. Freeze for 5 minutes.
Bake for 12-15 minutes but don't allow the cookies to brown at all. Allow to rest 5 minutes and then dust with confectioner's sugar while still warm.