Sisters Maria and Eva Konecsny, founders of the beloved Gewürzhaus spice stores, joined Weekend Sunrise to show how to make a traditional German festive treat.
Vanilla Crescents – VANILLEKIPFERL
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200 g (1¹⁄³ cups) plain flour
80 g (¾ cup) ground almonds
150 g salted butter, at room temperature
80 g (²⁄³ cup) icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 egg yolk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
½ tonka bean, finely grated (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds and butter, rubbing the mixture with your fingers, working it until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar, egg yolk, vanilla seeds and tonka bean (if using) and repeat the process of rubbing the ingredients in with your fingers until combined and well blended.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured bench and start kneading it. After about 2–3 minutes, the ingredients will come together and form a smooth dough. Divide it in half, then roll it into two logs, approximately 4 cm in diameter. Wrap them and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan-forced. Line a baking tray.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces, roll them into little logs about 5 cm long, then taper the edges by rolling them a little thinner. Carefully bend into a crescent and place on the prepared tray.
Bake for 12 minutes or until they are just starting to colour. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a minute, then transfer the crescents to a wire rack. Immediately sift over a generous amount of icing sugar while they are still hot.
Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
COOK’S NOTES: You can replace the ground almonds with another nut meal, such as hazelnut or pistachio. The tonka bean is optional, but it gives a stronger almond/marzipan taste, which feels even more like Christmas.