How to shape vanilla crescents
This gives the small shortbread cookies their typical shape: Roll out the cold dough into several rolls 1.5 to 2 centimeters thick and cut them into 4 to 5 centimeter long pieces with a knife. Then bend the ends inward and press them together lightly. Ready is the crescent shape.
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The whole thing is easier with a special Kipferlform.
Press a piece of dough into the mold, carefully remove, place on the baking sheet and off into the oven – ready.
Which flour should I use?
The question about the right flour for the vanilla crescents is found quite often. However, the cookies do not require a special type of flour. A plain 405 wheat flour is excellent for the cookies.
No egg in the vanilla crescent dough
In many recipes for vanilla crescents can be found egg yolk. However, eggs have no place in the Christmas cookie classics. Their addition makes the dough firmer during baking, as the egg yolk sets and thus helps bind it. Real vanilla crescents, however, thrive on their crumbly, crumbly texture. Why the cookies like to break so much and how you can prevent it, you will learn in the next paragraph.
My vanilla crescents have become hard and dry
The most common mistake for dry and hard cookies is too long baking time. Ready-made vanilla crescents always look a little pale. Make sure your croissants don’t brown in the oven. At most, the outer tips should take on a light brown color. Your vanilla crescents should not be in the oven for longer than 12 minutes at 180 degrees (160 °C convection oven).
If your croissants dry out during storage, an old trick will help: cut an apple into wedges and place it in the closed cookie tin for a day. The apple increases the humidity in the can. The cookies soak it up like a sponge and become nice and soft again.
My Kipferl melt when baking, what now?
If your vanilla crescents turn into an unsightly puddle in the oven, either there’s too much butter in the batter or crescent dough got too warm before baking. The latter tends to happen when it has been kneaded by hand for too long, causing the butter to heat up. Therefore, always follow the quantity instructions and pay attention to the dough temperature. Before shaping and baking, your dough must spend at least 60 minutes in the refrigerator. Even two or three hours will not harm the dough and will ensure that it is well chilled.
Take only as much dough from the refrigerator as you can process promptly. The rest remains in the cooling system.
Why do my vanilla crescents break and what can I do about it?
The cold butter gives the vanilla crescents their firmness. If it is too warm, the cookies will lose their bond and break. Therefore, it is important that you pay attention to the temperature of the dough. The cookies usually break in the following situations: when rolling out the dough, when forming the crescent, and when turning in the vanilla sugar.
As I said, the cold butter gives the crescents their firmness. However, in order for the sugar to adhere properly to the croissants, they must still be warm. For this reason, we dust the Kipferl immediately after baking, then let them cool and only put them in the cookie tin when they are cold and thus firm again.
To make the cold butter easier to work with when making the dough, you should cut it into small cubes beforehand.
What nuts for the dough?
Traditionalists use chopped almonds for their vanilla crescent dough. This is the classic you’re guaranteed not to go wrong with. However, if you are more experimental, you can reach for chopped hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans. Depending on the type of nut you use, your croissants will have their own flavor. A mixture of different nuts is also possible and can be found in many family recipes.
Short and sweet: tips for perfect vanilla crescents for Christmas
- The butter makes a great part of the cookies and their taste. Do not use margarine in any case and rather go for a slightly higher quality butter.
- Always use real vanilla and avoid cheap vanilla flavoring. A good vanilla bean should be thick, elastic and shriveled.
- Watch your temperature of your dough! In order for the croissants to keep their shape and not break, it must always be cool. Therefore, when processing, only take as much dough from the refrigerator as you can handle at the time. Put it back in a cool place when you stop work.
- If you knead the dough by hand, you should hurry, because the butter in it must not in any case become warm and thus soft before baking.
- Rather sprinkle than turn! The powdered sugar must be applied to the still warm croissants – this is the only way it will hold properly. However, the cookies warm from the oven are extremely fragile. For this reason, you should sprinkle the sugar over them with a small sieve, let them cool, sprinkle them again, and only then put them in the cookie jar.
- Don’t let them get brown! Only the outer tips of the cookies may take on a light brown color. This way you get soft and moist vanilla crescents.
- Use powdered sugar for the dough and not granulated sugar. With regular sugar, your cookie dough won’t bind and the sugar crystals will also feel like grains of sand in your mouth.
- Store your vanilla crescents in a light and airtight container. This way they stay fresh for up to 6 weeks. If they become hard, put a few apple slices in the can with them for a day. The columns increase the humidity in the cookie jar. The cookies soak it up and become juicy and tender again.
How to keep your vanilla crescents for a long time
If you want to store your Kipferl for a longer period of time, it is recommended to use a light-proof and airtight cookie tin, which you store in a cool place. Make sure that the can is always well filled. The fuller, the slower your cookies will dry out.