Vanilla Kipferl Cookies are a traditional Austrian/German Christmas cookie. These light and crisp cookies are always shaped like a crescent and dusted with vanilla sugar.
Do these cookies look familiar? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Vanilla Kipferl cookies are very similar to a number of other cookies made with nuts and coated with powdered sugar. Ever made Walnut Crescent Cookies, Russian Tea Cookies or Mexican Wedding Cookies? Well, these are pretty much the same idea.
I use hazelnuts in my recipe because I love the flavor. But you can use any nut in the cookie. Actually, because I didn’t have quite enough hazelnuts in the pantry I ended up using 1/2 hazelnuts and 1/2 almonds and the flavor was great.
Walnuts or pecans would also work for this recipe. Obviously the type of nut will slightly change the flavor and texture of the cookie. They are all good, but I am partial to the hazelnut version.
The cookies are always called “Vanilla Kipferl”, not just “Kipferl” because the vanilla sugar is an integral part of the flavor for these cookies.
The vanilla sugar coating on the outside of the cookie gives a big vanilla flavor as soon as you bite into the cookie. That’s kind of what makes them special and not just another nut cookie. Well, that and the crescent shape.
This is a great Christmas cookie recipe not just because they’re traditional, pretty, and tasty. This is a great “make ahead” recipe. To work ahead you can make the dough and shape the cookies.
Then freeze the unbaked cookies in a single layer on a sheet pan. Once the cookies are frozen they can be packed into freezer bags and stored for up to 2 months.
When you’re ready to bake just line the frozen cookies on sheet pan and bake them. No need to defrost. You may need to add a minute or two the baking time.
Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Vanilla Kipferl Cookies:
Lebkuchen are another traditional German cookies you will want to add to your holiday cookie display.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
Vanilla Kipferl Cookies
- 4 oz confectioner’s sugar (1 cup)
- 8 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 10 oz all purpose flour (2 cups)
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 4 oz hazelnuts (finely ground (see note))
- 4 oz confectioner’s sugar (1 cup for dusting)
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (for dusting (see note))
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line two ½ sheet pans with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Cream 4 oz confectioner’s sugar and 8 oz unsalted butter until light and aerated. Add 1 large egg yolk and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add 10 oz all purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon table salt and 4 oz hazelnuts (finely ground) and mix just until incorporated.
- On a lightly floured surface and with your hands floured, form the dough into a log shape about 2" wide. Cut the long into 4 sections. Roll one section to a ½" thick rope. Cut the rope into 2" segments. Repeat with the other three pieces of dough.
- Roll both ends of each 2" piece of dough to form tapered points. Bend both ends to form the crescent shape. Place the cookies on the prepared pan, ½" apart. (see note) Bake until the tips turn golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. While the cookies are baking, whisk 4 oz confectioner’s sugar and 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar in a small bowl or pie plate.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for just 1-2 minutes so you can pick them up without them breaking apart. Roll the warm cookies in the sugar. Reserve any left over sugar. When the cookies are completely cool sprinkle them generously with the remaining sugar.
- The cookies will keep, stored in a covered container, at room temperature for 3-4 days.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.