Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies [Vanillekipferl]

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There’s nothing like a warm, gooey, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.

But when to Vanillekipferl, there’s nothing like one that’s four days old.

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Some cookies get better with age.

Freshly baked, vanillekipferl are kind of chewy. As they age, they become crumbly and stronger in almond and vanilla flavour.

They’re a popular holiday treat across Europe, especially in Austria and Hungary.

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Vanillekipferl
*adapted from Saveur

125 g vanilla powdered sugar, sifted
140 g good quality blanched and ground almonds
225 g unsalted butter, softened
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
2 drops almond extract
310 g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp fine salt
vanilla powdered sugar for dusting

To create vanilla powdered sugar, put powdered sugar and one vanilla bean in a tightly sealed jar for at least 3 days. The vanilla bean will infuse the sugar with its flavour and aroma.

Whisk together the almonds and flour. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and powdered sugar at medium speed until the sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture will resemble ice cream. Add the vanilla seeds, almond extract and salt and beat to combine.

Reduce speed to low.  Beat in the flour and almond mixture in several additions until a smooth dough forms.

Cover the dough with a towel and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line baking sheets with parchment.

Break off 2 tablespoons of dough. Form into a crescent with tapered ends. Repeat, placing crescents 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies begin to turn light golden brown.

Remove from oven. Cool completely on a wire rack. Toss in powdered sugar to coat.

Age these cookies for a few days — they only get better. They also freeze well.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

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