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


  1. Victoria says

    I bet these were so much fun to make for Santa ;-) Merry Christmas, Reeni! Thanks for sharing these awesome cookies with all of us!

  2. Peggy says

    Definitely will put that vanilla sugar tip to use! I've got my beans in the sugar already! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

  3. Claudia says

    Oh Reeni – if it calls for a vanilla bean, it calls to me. It's sweet and moist and creamy and all those wonderful things a cookie can be. I hope your Christmas was merry and bright!

  4. Lindsey @ Gingerbrea says

    Mmmm I bet those cookies have an AMAZING vanilla flavor because of the vanilla bean. I MUST make these. Even though Christmas is over, I have so many wonderful cookies I want to make and these are now on my list. They look so flavorful and beautiful!

  5. ''Cucina d says

    Reeni, I wish you Merry Christmas !I really enjoy going through your blog and you are really "brava" love these biscuits!Hugs and kissesBarbaraxx

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