Christmas Crescent Cookies

Christmas Crescent Cookies

Vanilla Crescents or Vanillekipferli (say that three times fast) are an old Viennese traditional cookie made with ground almonds and fresh vanilla beans. The dough is shaped by hand into crescents before baking and then dusted with copious amounts of vanilla sugar after.

They’re buttery like shortbread, nutty and soft, much like a Mexican wedding cookie or a Russian tea cake.

If you have vanilla sugar already on hand you can use that to dust them.

An easy way to make vanilla sugar is to use your scraped out vanilla beans. Fill an airtight container with sugar and immerse the beans in it. The vanilla sugar will be ready to use in a day or two but the longer you leave it the better. This way you can always have vanilla sugar on hand!

I love that such a delicious cookie comes out of so few ingredients!

I hope Santa likes them.

Christmas Crescent Cookies

Christmas Crescent Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup blanched almonds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 moist vanilla bean
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Topping:
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ moist vanilla bean
  1. Pulse the flour, almonds and salt together in food processor to coarsely chop nuts, then process until nuts are finely ground.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla beans and beat for 1 minute, add confectioner’s sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolk. Add about one-third of flour mixture and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour mixture mixing until just blended.
  3. Scrape dough onto plastic wrap and shape into a large, flat disc, cover well and refrigerate until firm about 1 hour or overnight.
  4. To make topping pulse sugars and vanilla together in food processor and add to a small bowl; set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll dough between your palms or on a lightly floured surface into ½-inch wide x 2 and ½-inch long logs with slightly tapered ends. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bend into a crescent shape. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
  7. Bake until light golden brown around edges and on bottom about 15 minutes. Slide parchment onto wire racks and cool for a 1-2 minutes, then roll in vanilla sugar, put back on parchment to continue cooling.
Adapted from A Baker's Guild to Christmas Cookies

©Copyright 2014 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

Christmas Crescent Cookies

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  1. Elisabeth says

    Reeni-I love vanilla crescents, and the way your turned out it's so inviting, and yummy!Wishing you and yours, a Very Merry Christmas!

  2. Joanne says

    I do love a good Mexican wedding cookie but the hit of vanilla in these must be extra delicious! Beautiful. Merry Christmas Reeni!

  3. Angie's Recipes says

    I love Vanillekipferl! Even thought of getting one baking form last month….these look so pretty!Reeni, I wish you a merriest holiday season!Angie

  4. Pegasuslegend says

    very nicely presented one of my many favorites…beautifully done! Merry Christmas!

  5. ♥Sugar&hearts says

    Oh lovely ,love the textures of different cookies ,my favs , in my cookie here!!Merry Christmas♪♫•*¨♥¸¸.*•♫♪ So feels like Christmas in the Air ♫•**•.¸¸♥¸¸.•♫♪ Christmas time …♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Mistletoe&vine♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

  6. Federica says

    These cookies are so cute, dear. Fragrant and delicious, they are perfect to enjoy with a cup of hot tea. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a New Year full of success. See you soon, bye

  7. Debbi Does Dinner He says

    These sound wonderful! Much as I love cookies, I will be glad when "cookie season" is over and we can get back to some healthy recipes! :-)

  8. Fresh Local and Best says

    I like that this recipe calls for a moist vanilla bean, which probably allows for more flavors to come through. The almonds probably make the cookies that much more delicate – something I love!Merry Christmas Reeni!

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