This post is also available in: German
Vanilla crescents belong to every Christmas season in Germany. Therefore every year I make dozens of baking trays with these delicious traditional Christmas cookies. The reason is grandma Gerda’s recipe. It is proven they are so delicious that noone can ever get enough of them! Till today I kept the secret of her recipe but now I will reveal it to you.
Grandma Gerda wasn’t my real grandmother after all. Still she was my Grandma. We moved to Bad Zwischenahn in the north of Germany when I was three years old. There we lived next to a family with two girls that were my age respectively two years younger than me. Till today we are best friends, virtual sisters.
This chosen kinship counted not only for my best friend but also for her relatives. Her uncles and aunts see me as their nieces and her grandparents saw me as her virtual grandchild. Therefore I had also been enjoying Grandma Gerda’s vanilla crescents since I was a little girl.
Grandma Gerda inherited the recipe from her mother who had gotten it from her mum. Every year she had sent a huge package with Christmas cookies including a big can of vanilla crescents. When I was five I once raided the whole can. I was convinced that it would still look full from the top if you leave a few of the cookies on the bottom. But you can imagine that this didn’t work out! I was busted!
So I made up for that when I was a teenager and knew how to make them myself. In the middle of August, though.
The whole house smelled of vanilla crescents while there were 30 degrees Celsius outside. I had drawn the curtains and lit candles to make it all look like the real Christmas tradition! This is a popular family story till today!
The great thing about that recipe is that you just need a few ingredients. All it takes is flour, sugar, crushed almonds, butter, baking soda and vanilla sugar.
You will find the right proportions in our recipes.
- Pour all ingredients - except the butter - into a bowl and mix them well.
- Add the supersoft butter (you can melt it in a bowl in the oven at 50 degrees Celsius) and use an electric mixer first before you kneed the dough with your hands until it has a homogeneous consistency.
- Form the dough into a ball or two, wrap them into aluminum foil and put the dough in the fridge for 45 min.
- After 45 min take the dough out of the fridge, form 3 cm thick sausages and cut them into 1 cm thick slices. Turn the oven on to 175 degrees Celsius recirculating air.
- Form the slices into balls, the balls into small sausage and bend them into crescents. Put them on an oven tray which is covered with baking paper. Put the tray into the hot oven and bake them until the tips of the crescents are brown. (12-15 min). Take crescents out of the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes.
- Pour the bourbon vanilla sugar into a wide bowl. Dip each crescents into the sugar until the whole crescents is covered. I put the crescents into the bowl and kind of scoop the sugar on top. Then I place one g´hand underneath with my fingers slightly spread and shake the sugar off.
- Put sugared crescents on a plate and let them cool down completely. Only when they are completely cool, put them in a tin or glass container with a lid.
Of course I have developed my own personal way of making the crescents. But this I will not reveal after all.