vanilla is kind of my favorite ingredient. a friend of mine, who’s a wine seller, also sells a couple of selected, top notch delicatessen. he has this insane vanille going on, that’s thicker than your thumb (honestly), super rich and moist and just, basically, heaven in a thing. they’re individually packaed – shrink-wrapped, to seal in all the luscious scents. just one of those premium vanilla beans costs over 10 swiss francs (let’s say about 10 us dollars). no, no kidding! and their rather obscene (however justified) price is basically all that stops me from buying a truckload and making myself a bed in it. vanilla sleeps must be the best, surely?
so no wonder, considering my vanilla obsessoin, my favorite holiday cookie is this old-fashioned and simple vanilla crescent (or technically moon, as i cut them out with circles rather then shaping them into crescents). i think they’re from germany originally, and they’re pretty big in switzerland as well during holiday season.
prepared ahead, you can store the dough wrapped in foil for up to 3 weeks in the freezer or a couple of days in the fridge. and then it makes for a super quick gift; neatly wrapped up in a paper bag. happy snacking and cookie overdosing!
ps: i sure know now why those new year’s resolution make perfect sense. cough, cough, tight jeans.
pps: next week we’re going to make gingerbread men – and snowflakes. oh, joy!
german vanilla crescent cookies (or moons)
250 g flour
130 g almond flour
1 (generous) pinch of salt
110 g confectioners’ sugar
40 g vanilla sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
220 g (2 sticks) butter, cold
more confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)
another 40 g vanilla sugar
combine all the ingredients up until the vanilla in a bowl. cube the cold butter into pieces and work it into the flour mix with your hands, quickly, until the dough is crumbly. add the egg and knead lightly and briefly until a dough ball forms. shape into a disk, wrap with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight (ideally).
prepare two baking sheets with parchment and preheat the oven to 160 c / 320 f. for the moon shaped vairant, flour your work space and roll out the dough to about finger width thickness, about 1cm. use a circle to cut out moons (by layering the circles on top of each other). for the crescent shape roll the dough into long log, cut it into 2cm wide slices and roll and shape each into crescents. put the cookies on a baking sheet and let chill for another 15 minutes, so they won’t spread in the heat.
bake the crescents for 10 to 15 minutes (mine took about 12), remove and let cool slightly. then dip into the confectioners’ and vanilla sugar mix to coat them evenly. put on a rack to cool completely.