Vanillekipferl – German Vanilla Crescent Cookies

Vanillekipferl are Vanilla Crescent Cookies made of Sweet Shortcrust Pastry to which nuts are added (Nussmürbeteig). They are popular Christmas Cookies (Weihnachtskekse or Weihnachtsplätzchen) in Germany and Austria. They are traditionally made by hand and shaped into a crescent moon. The best results are obtained when the dough is made the day before.

Ingredients for ~ 60-64 cookies:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 250g flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100g ground nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.)
  • 2 sachets vanilla sugar (8g ~ 2tsp) or 1 vanilla pod
  • 1-2 egg yolks or one whole egg (optional)

For coating:

  • 100g powder sugar
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar or 1 vanilla pod
  1. All ingredients should be cold, especially the butter.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: flour, ground nuts, sugar, vanilla sugar or vanilla pod, and salt.
  3. Add the cold butter cut into cubes and the egg/egg yolks. You can skip the eggs but the dough will be crumbly therefore harder to roll.
  4. Mix everything until the ingredients are combined. Do not over-mix because the butter will start melting.
  5. Split the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape them into long rolls. This will help to portion the cookies later and also to cool down faster.
  6. Wrap the rolls in a foil and keep them in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 1 hour. If you want to use the dough right away, you can use powder sugar instead of caster sugar. It is however recommended to keep the dough minimum of half an hour in the fridge so that the ingredients properly combine and it’s easier to roll.
    Vanillekipferl - German Vanilla Crescent Cookies - Nussmürbeteig - German Nut Shortcrust Pastry
  7. Preheat the oven at 190°C/374°F (no ventilation).
  8. Cut the rolls into small pieces and form the cookies with your hand. Avoid overworking the dough in your hands so that the butter doesn’t melt.
  9. You can also use a Vanillekipferl form or even roll the dough with a rolling pin and cut cookies with a cookie cutter. No crescent moon cookie cutter? No problem: just use a water glass for similar results. Traditionally, these crescent moon cookies are done by hand. However, I like using a silicone form since I don’t need to care about size. No worries, regardless of what you’re using, your cookies are going to be delicious.
  10. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, depending on their size.
  11. Mix the powdered sugar and the vanilla sugar or vanilla pod for the coating.
  12. Let them cool down for few minutes so they don’t break that easly while handling.
  13. Coat the cookies in vanilla sugar while still hot.
  14. Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Crescent Cookies) taste the best after a few days. They will become soft and melt in your mouth.
    Vanillekipferl - German Vanilla Crescent Cookies which melt in your mouth
  15. You can easily keep them for a month, better in a metal box, a cookie glass jar, or simply on a plate on the table if you want them gone fast. 🙂
    Vanillekipferl - German Vanilla Crescent Cookies - German Christmas Cookies
    Vanillekipferl - German Vanilla Crescent Cookies - German Christmas Cookies which melt in your mouth