Although mostly associated with Christmas, you can enjoy these delicate crescent shaped Austrian Vanillekipferl cookies year round.
It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. For the month of January we did things a little different: we were asked to choose a traditional cookie from our culture. I made Austrian Vanillekipferl cookies, in honor of a big part of my cultural background but mostly in honor of my Austrian dad who is currently recovering from a successful heart surgery.
My Viennese dad immigrated to Canada in 1967 so I have Austrian blood running through my veins. I have been twice and I may go again this summer. I have little family there so the cultural side of me has always been a bit of a mystery, one I like to explore.
I chose an Austrian cookie for my dad as last Monday he had a second heart surgery in less than 3 years. Thankfully this one was not open heart. They went under the arm by endoscopy and repaired the mitral valve. This recovery will be so much easier than the last time but the whole process has been very stressful. But it went really well and he was already home resting by Friday night.
I am sure you remember my post where I made well over 200 Christmas cookies with 2 friends just before the holidays. We made 6 different types of cookies, including these Austrian cookies, called Vanillekipferl, from a recipe I found at The Ambassador’s Table.
These small Viennese crescent shaped cookies are usually made with ground almonds and they get their flavour from a dusting of vanilla sugar. Apparently the Austrian Vanillekipferl recipe was created in the shape of the Turkish crescent moon to commemorate the victory of the Austro-Hungarian army over the Turks in a war. Wow, I cannot believe I found a tie-in with a MENA country.
I could not find vanilla sugar but I had ground vanilla so I mixed it up with the sugar. I went the unusual route as well and half my batch was simply drizzled with melted dark chocolate. Thank you to MENA Cooking Club for this challenge. Check out what the other member made in the roundup below or look for the hashtag #menacookingclub.
Mix in a bowl all the ingredients into a smooth dough. Cover and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough in small pieces and roll out with your hands until it is about 3 1/2 inch long. Shape into crescents and place them at least 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until a very light brown.
Mix icing sugar and vanilla sugar, then delicately toss in the hot cookies.