My dear friend Monja surprised me with a little box filled with these absolutely delicious German Christmas cookies called Vanillekipferl or vanilla crescents. I went crazy over them and so did my son who said they tasted like vanilla doughnuts. I asked for the recipe (which was originally in German and in grams, oy!) and did my best conversion. It took research, some math and one failed try but I think I have the right formula now.
I wanted to keep these cookies white so I used vegan cane sugar and all purpose flour because, hey, it’s Christmas and these are not exactly meant to be breakfast. The crescents are a little challenging to make but just like gnocchi and pretzels you get into a rhythm and all of a sudden you have a baking tray full of vanillekipferl!
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (280g)
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour (100g)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (non-GMO)
14 tablespoons (Earth Balance shortening (200g)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegan cane sugar (80g)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup vanilla sugar, for coating
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for coating
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use a hand mixer to cream the shortening, sugar and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, sift the all purpose flour and cornstarch together. Add the almond flour and mix with a fork. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture using a spatula to gently mix the flour into the sugar. Continue mixing with the hand mixer until the mixture is full mixed. It will be crumbly. Use your hands to bring the dough together into two disks. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
On a clean surface dusted with a little flour, use a bench scraper to cut the dough into equal pieces. Roll between your fingers and palm making like a little worm and then turn it into a little crescent moon shape. I had a little difficulty making crescents because the dough gets crumbly and breaks, as you can see on the left, but keep pulling it together and working into kipferl.
Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes until light blonde. Mix the coating sugars in a wide and deep plate.
Let the kipferl cool enough to handle only 1 to 2 minutes. Drop them into the coating sugars and cover completely. Place back onto the baking sheet to cool completely.