German Vanilla Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)

Every Christmas season I look forward to making lots of these delicious, powdered vanilla crescents. The delicate taste of buttery shortcrust pastry and real bourbon vanilla make these cookies Germany’s absolute classics.

German Vanilla Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: DessertCuisine: GermanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Baking time





Fragrant and buttery, with a delicate, crumbly texture and powdered with confectioners’ sugar.


  • 60 g ground, blanched almonds (almond flour)

  • 100 g good quality butter, at room temperature

  • 50 g confectioners’ sugar + additional 40 – 50 g for coating

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2 bourbon vanilla beans

  • 135 g plain, all-purpose flour

  • a pinch of salt


  • Scrape out the vanilla beans and store the pulp in an airtight container. Place the scraped-out vanilla pods in a jar and fill it up with 50 g of confectioners’ sugar. Close tightly with a lid and let the sugar infuse overnight.
  • The next day, roast the ground almonds in a large non-stick pan, over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Once the almonds develop a fragrant aroma and a light, golden color, turn off the heat and let them cool down completely.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine butter, the vanilla-infused confectioners’ sugar, egg yolk, the scraped-out vanilla pulp, flour, roasted almond flour, and a pinch of salt. Knead by hand until it comes together and forms a smooth dough. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic, and chill for 2 hours.
  • Adjust the rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 355F / 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Divide the dough into 4 – 5 smaller portions. Take a portion and roll it into a pencil-thick rope. Cut the rope into ca. 3-inch pieces and form each piece into a crescent. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Let the baked cookies rest briefly on the baking sheet, about 2 – 3 minutes. Coat the still-warm cookies carefully in confectioners’ sugar and let them cool down completely on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Store in an airtight container.

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