There’s nothing like a big plate of Christmas “Plaetzchen” (cookies) and a cup of tea or coffee on a dismal afternoon in Advent.
Would you like one?
They’re delicious, aren’t they? Have another one!
Sharing and comparing recipes with friends and neighbours is all a part of it. It’s a tradition that I have come to love, and in the past few years I have also started to increase my repertoire of homemade treats. A few are given as gifts, but most of them are gone by Christmas time, or New Year at the latest.
My absolute favourite is the Vanillekipferl… vanilla moon-shaped biscuits. Not only do they contain lots of aromatic vanilla seeds in the dough, they are then rolled in vanilla sugar while still warm. The more vanilla the better! They are crumbly and buttery, literally melting in your mouth, and the aroma is irresistible.
Can you smell them? Mmmmm…
Shall I give you my secret recipe?
Okay, here you are!
- 100g finely ground almonds
- 280g plain flour and a pinch of salt
- 90g sugar
- zest of 2 oranges
- 1 vanilla pod
- 200g cold vegan butter, cut into small pieces
- a dash of non-dairy milk
- plenty of vanilla sugar for dusting (I use Dr Oetkers Bourbon vanilla)
Sift flour and salt and stir in almonds. Rub the butter into the flour with fingertips, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in sugar, orange/lemon zest and the seeds of the 2 vanilla pods. Stir in the milk and bring dough together into a smooth ball. Chill for 1-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Now comes the fun part. Halve the dough. On a floured surface roll the dough into a long sausage shape and divide into 35-40 pieces. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Each piece now has to be made into a half-moon shape. Place on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 10 minutes… don’t let them get too brown.
While they are still warm, roll in vanilla sugar. Use lots and lots! Test to see if you’ve used enough. (They taste so good when they’re still warm, but they are very delicate until they have cooked completely.)
The Vanillekipferl are light, sweet, aromatic and scrummy! Enjoy!