Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vanillekipferl (Viennese vanilla crescents), and a not so fair competition

Vanillekipferl (Viennese vanilla crescents) / Vanillekipferl (biscoitinhos de baunilha de Viena)

The people behind the Oscars have apparently developed a strategy of leaving the most powerful performances out of the competition (maybe to make sure the-not-so-great ones get the awards? Who knows). Last year both Tilda and Michael Shannon weren’t included in the game (and they were absolutely magnificent in We Need to Talk About Kevin and Take Shelter, respectively), and 2013 will be remembered by me as the year Marion Cotillard got ignored even though she kicked everyone else’s butts with Rust and Bone. The movie is so amazing I haven’t been able to write a single line about it so far (the“The Tree of Life effect”, as I call it), and Marion’s portrait of Stéphanie is something sublime. Harvey Weinstein must have felt relieved when Marion did not get nominated, for she would definitely make things a lot harder for Jennifer Lawrence – I adore her, but that Oscar was a joke (and a demonstration of the power of lobby).

These cookies, with their German name and their amazing vanilla flavor, are one of the best I have ever made (and I have made quite a few); they are delicious, melt in the mouth, and since they also look pretty they would be great as a gift or as an addition to the Christmas table – I just feel sorry for any other cookie around them as I don’t think it would be a fair competition... ;)

Vanilla beans are a luxurious ingredient and I don’t use them often, but since it’s Christmas I thought a bit of splurge wouldn’t hurt; if you intend to make the cookies don’t forget to plan ahead since the sugar needs some time alone with the vanilla. ;)

Vanillekipferl (Viennese vanilla crescents)
slightly adapted from the über complete The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes

Vanilla sugar (for dusting the cookies):
170g confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds remove with the back of a knife

245g all-purpose flour
25g confectioners’ sugar
pinch of salt
70g almond meal
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds remove with the back of a knife
170g cold unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Start by making the vanilla sugar: place the sugar, vanilla seeds and bean in a small bowl and mix with your fingers to perfume the sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature overnight.

Cookies: in a food processor blend together the flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt, almond meal and vanilla seeds. Add the butter, pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the vanilla extract and process just until a dough forms. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Roll ½ tablespoon (leveled) of dough per cookie into a cylinder, then bend the ends over to create a half-moon. Arrange the crescents onto prepared sheets 2.5cm (1in) apart and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until pale golden.
While the crescents are still warm, gently toss them in the vanilla sugar, then allow to cool completely on wire racks.
Let the cookies cool completely before transferring them to storage tins. Sift more vanilla sugar over the cookies before serving.

Makes about 50 cookies


Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

yah, I still haven't seen Silver Linings Playbook, and I love J Law and think she's super talented, but I think last yr was pretty much a popularity contest win for her, as opposed to a sheer talent-in-the-role win.

Dina said...

they look delightful!

Sara said...

Yum! These cookies look awesome!

Display name said...

i'm a big fan of those croissants! Vanilla and almond...very yummy :) ela

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Beauties, I'm sure these melt in your mouth!

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