These little moon shaped cookies smothered in a coat of frosty looking powdered sugar are just the epitomy of Christmas. I know all my Christmas cookie posts are late, just think of them as posted well in advance for next year.

These little white morsels with their delicate almond flavour are always the first to go when I put a plate of Christmas cookies out. They are best eaten the day they are made, and everyone seems more than happy to make sure there aren’t any left. This is another of the batches of cookies that Leah and I made together on Christmas Eve.

I don’t honestly remember where on the vast internet I found the recipe for these originally. My apologies to the original author, I like to give credit where it’s due. I have adapted it a little since I found the original recipe a little on the dry side, and difficult to shape. There is a bit of a technique to shaping these cookies. Leah was ready to give up after her first one turned out looking more like a deformed sausage, but after a few tries she had the technique down beautifully.

Viennese Crescents

  • 1/2 cup of ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup of icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter (it’s important that it is soft)
  • 1 1/2 tspns vanilla extract
  • 1 tspn almond extract
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1-2 tspns cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar for coating

Beat together butter, almonds and icing sugar until just combined

Add in the extracts and mix gently

Add in the flour and salt and mix until the dough starts to come together. Add the water to make a dough that holds together. Do not be tempted to knead the dough it will make the cookies tough.

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray with parchment.

To shape

Take a piece of dough that is slightly larger than a walnut and roll into a ball. Roll the ball into a log shape putting slightly more pressure on the ends to make the log wider in the middle and narrower at the ends. You do not want to make the logs too narrow on the ends or they will burn. Curve into a crescent shape and place on the tray. Leave them a little room to expand.

Bake for about 10 minutes and remove when light golden on the ends. While they are hot, roll in icing sugar to coat. You can give them another coat of icing sugar if you like when they have cooled slightly.

These elegant little cookies are also called Vanillekipferl. They are common in Germany and Hungary although they originated in Vienna. They look so pretty sitting on a plate, and are really very simple to make. Next time you are having an afternoon tea for “ladies” try making some of these as a different addition to your cookie plate.

Please excuse my un-ironed tablecloth in the pics - it was Christmas Eve after all and I had to help Santa with some stuff.