HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Hope 2015 brings everyone lots of sweets and happiness ! 🙂 Continuing the holiday spirit here’s a European Christmas classic,the Kipferl. Although it is pretty good for any occasion including every morning with your coffee 😉 . I was a little doubtful when I actually started making this thinking about what made it any different flavor wise than say a vanilla cookie or a doughnut but afterward I realized it is a delicious cross breed between the two with a distinct yet not overpowering hazelnut flavor and their dusted with fresh vanilla sugar which is so wonderful by itself too. After the painful struggle of resisting not gobbling it up in one day I understand what made it ‘just for the holidays’ BECAUSE IT IS TOO DAMN RICH AND AWESOME to be made all the year round.
Let’s get down to it then as this is a little tricky. After beating the soft butter with the vanilla seeds and sugar, add in the yolks and mix again; now grab a spatula and add the hazelnut meal and flour mix and get ready to get your hands dirty. The slight warmth of your hands will help bring the dough together and will make it smooth.
Time to start shaping, it will not be easy infact it might be a little frustrating and your arms and/or back may hurt after this but it is SO bloody worth it! So, take a tablespoon of dough roll it into a log; it will remind you of working with play dough from when you were a kid. Take the logs and shape it into crescents. It can be thick it will bake properly don’t worry. Bake ’em for 15-20 minutes. Afterward roll them one by one in the vanilla sugar.
- 2 vanilla beans, halved
- 250 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups plain flour
- 3/4 cup Hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)(you can also use almond meal if you don’t like hazelnuts although I would insist you try this with hazelnuts first because the flavor just deepens)
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 100 ml water (ONLY if your mixture seems too dry and crumbly)
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C . Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Using a small sharp knife, scrape seeds from 1 vanilla bean. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla seeds and 3/4 cup icing sugar mixture until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks. Beat to combine.Sift salt and flour over butter mixture. Add hazelnut meal. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined and a sticky dough forms.
- Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. Using 1 tablespoon mixture at a time, roll into balls. Roll balls into 6cm logs with tapered edges. Shape into crescents. Place, 2cm apart, on prepared trays. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until firm and golden at edges. Cool on trays for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile,scrape seeds from the second vanilla bean and process with the caster sugar until finely ground. Sift sugar mixture into a shallow bowl.Stir in remaining icing sugar mixture. Roll kipferls, 1 at a time, in sugar mixture. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.