Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Vanillekipferl

No personal photo this time, sorry,
sweetie, but the grandson of one
of my best friends has eaten almost all
of this year's production

Photo found on:
http://www.mowielicious.com

So let's get started, sweetie. I know it's not Christmas anymore (or not yet – it depends on your point of view, or as Einstein taught us: everything is relative). But although in Austria, we traditionnally prepare these nice and yummy cookies right before Christmas, they're so fabulous that you can make them anytime you want. Just remember: as Austrian cake 'n' cookie recipes go, it's a teensie bit on the high-fat-high-sugar-side.

What you need:
  • 350 g of flour 
  • 200 g of butter 
  • 100 g of sugar (granulated or powdered sugar, whatever you prefer) 
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar 
  • 100 g of ground almonds 
  • 1 egg (well, I added a second one) 
  • A bowl filled with powdered sugar 
  • A generous amount of time
  • Even more patience
How to proceed:
  • If you want to prepare these cookies, don’t forget to take the butter out of the fridge in time; it has to be mellow. 
  • First, you have to knead the flour with the butter. Let me warn you: you’ll have to do it with your hands; the whole process, by the way. The dough might be too compact for your food processor. So wash your hands, sweetie, and take off those diamond rings, cheers.
  • Then, you add the sugar, the vanilla sugar, the ground almonds and the egg (or the 2 eggs, like I did).
  • You knead until you’ve got a nice, compact dough. It should be crumply but not too much (mine was, that’s why I added the second egg, and from then on, everything went just fine). 
  • Switch on your oven, 180-200°C. 
  • Put baking paper on your baking sheet (you wouldn’t want the cookies to stick to your sheet, now, would you?). 
  • Prepare your dough by rolling it between your hands until you’ve got three or four even ‘rolls’ or ‘sausages’. 
  • Then, you cut little pieces off each roll (approx. as thick as your thumb). 
  • Roll each little piece again, then shape it into a little crescent and lay it on the baking paper. 
  • When you’ve filled the baking sheet, put it in the oven. It takes about 10-15 minutes for the cookies to be ready (they should harden but shouldn’t get burnt). I can't tell you exactly how much time it will take; that depends on your oven. See, my mom gave me this recipe over the phone, and her instructions were very precise: "bake'em for a coupla minutes". Right.
  • While the cookies bake, prepare another baking sheet. 
  • When the cookies are ready, take them out (it would be silly to let them burn down to black lump right?) and put the new baking sheet in the oven. 
  • While the cookies are still hot, you put them into the bowl with the powdered sugar and cover them entirely. Then, you take them out and let them cool on a plate. 
  • When all the cookies are cold, you can store them for a month or more in a nice little box, preferably in a cool and dry place. 
In my memory, the whole process was rather long. But when I made the cookies myself for the first time, I was astounded how easily and quickly the dough was prepared. I only discovered then that the long long long long process started with the preparation of the cookies one by one.

But they're worth it. Kids just love'em. I hope you’ll enjoy, too. See ya soon, thanks, cheers, sweetie.

(Recycled post: this post has been originally published on my other blog, Confessions of a Wannabe Writer, on Dec. 12th 2011. This is a slightly edited & corrected version).

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