Baking enthusiasts who want to bake cookies again this year, but are looking for simple recipes that are still delicious, usually opt for vanilla crescents. Not only do they taste good, but they are relatively easy to prepare, even for novice bakers. Nevertheless, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to make really successful vanilla crescents yourself. Is there a trick that makes them easier to shape? And how do you make the dough light and airy so that the cookies later melt in your mouth but don’t break? We provide you with the necessary tips & tricks for enviable vanilla cookies .
Table of contents
- Make vanilla crescents yourself with the right ingredients
- Vanilla crescent tips – Working with the dough
- Store the cookies “Vanillekipferl” correctly
- Vanilla crescent recipe
Make your own vanilla crescents with the right ingredients
What you should know about egg yolk and egg white
If you want to make vanilla crescents yourself that melt in your mouth, don’t use the whole egg. You will get a much finer dough if you use only the egg yolks. They also give it a nice color.
There are recipes for vanilla crescents without butter, but in the original it plays an important role, because it gives the pastry its typical aroma, among other things. Above all, refrain from replacing it with margarine, because it also makes the cookies break more easily later. It is also important that you do not heat the butter before processing. If it is too soft, it will make the finished cookies more brittle, just like margarine.
But how else should you process the hard, cold butter? Cut it into smaller pieces, because then it is already much easier to mix with the remaining ingredients. And that brings us to the last tip regarding butter: work as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t get too warm. This works best with a food processor, of course, but also with your hands. You should not underestimate this step! The dough will be regularly chilled again later, but even that won’t help if the butter has become too warm during processing.
Make vanilla crescents yourself – The vanilla
For some, it is a disappointment that after all the effort, the crescents do not taste as much like vanilla as expected. You can change this and make delicious vanilla crescents yourself by using real vanilla. Granted, this ingredient is more expensive than vanilla extract, but if you value intense flavor, invest in it. If you do decide against real vanilla paste, you can also use another trick to intensify the flavor: Let the finished cookies rest for a few days and ideally a week. Decide for yourself if you have such staying power or if you prefer to buy the vanilla…
Vanilla crescent tips – Working with the dough
Chill in the refrigerator while you make the vanilla crescents themselves
Wrap the finished dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours. This will create the right base to make the perfect, non-brittle vanilla crescents yourself afterwards. Because, as mentioned several times, the cold butter is absolutely necessary for this. Also, while shaping the vanilla crescents, be sure to keep putting the dough back in the fridge. This means that you only take a small part of it, which you then shape. And to make shaping work quickly too, we’ll explain how below.
Shaping vanilla crescents – tips for a beautiful half moon
If you want to make real vanilla crescents yourself, you will of course also attach importance to the right shape. However, beginners in particular do not necessarily have an idea of how to get the typical half-moon the quickest and easiest way. Meanwhile, there are special baking sheets on which the dough is pressed and the excess is then scraped off with a spatula, but even that is an art in itself and not everyone’s cup of tea. You can also shape the moons by hand as follows:
Cut off a piece of the dough (don’t forget to put the rest back in the fridge!). Then roll the piece into a snake as thick as you want the croissants to be. Then cut the snake into 1 to 2 cm long pieces. It is important that all the pieces are really the same size as much as possible, so that they will be ready later in the oven at the same rate. Then, using your fingers, bend each piece slightly inward on both sides to create the half-moon shape. You can gently pinch the ends together as you do this to get rounded tips. Place each finished croissant immediately on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and try to work quickly.
Do you have small moon cookie cutters? If not, get some of those to shape the dough for vanilla croissants in the quickest way possible. This way, the whole thing will not only work in a flash, but it will also be extraordinarily easy, so that even your kids can join in. If you wish, you can press the ends together a little more or round them off more for the typical vanilla crescent shape.
Bake the vanilla crescents and do not lose sight of them!
As you can see, the cookies are not particularly large or thick. Accordingly, they also take anything but long to finish baking. That’s why it’s important that you keep checking them. Because while they may appear bright and raw one moment, the next they may be brown, hard and dry. If you want to make vanilla crescents yourself, generally allow for a baking time of 10 to 12 minutes. They should still be light in any case. If they still seem soft when you press lightly on them with your finger, that’s not necessarily a sign that they’re not ready yet. This is because while they are cooling, they are still hardening a bit.
Make your own vanilla crescents and sugar them properly
Finely dusted with powdered sugar, the crescents not only look even more delicious, they are! However, so that the whole thing also looks good, you should not roll them in powdered sugar, but really dust them with the help of a fine sieve. Rolling works too, but will be uneven. To make sure the sugar sticks really well, the cookies should also be hot at this point. Then let them cool completely on a wire rack or grate.
Store the cookies “Vanillekipferl” properly
Making vanilla cookies yourself is one thing. Now you’ve prepared oodles of cookies that you can’t and of course shouldn’t eat them all right away. So, where to put them so that they also keep for a long time and do not dry out in the process? Well, cookie jars weren’t named that for nothing. They are perfect for keeping cookies of any kind fresh and fluffy. If they do get hard over time, you can also use the following trick to get them soft again: Place a few apple slices in the tin with them overnight. These will then release a small amount of moisture, which is enough to make the vanilla crescents look freshly baked again.
Vanilla crescent recipe
Would you now finally like to get started and make vanilla crescents yourself that meet all our tips? No problem, because such a one follows now:
For 60 pieces:
- 200 g cold butter cut into pieces
- 2 egg yolks
- 275 g flour
- 75 g sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 100 g ground almonds without skin
- 2 packets of bourbon vanilla sugar (regular is also okay)
- pinch of salt
- 50 g powdered sugar
Scrape the pith out of the vanilla bean by cutting it in half lengthwise once. Then process this as quickly as possible with the butter, egg yolks, flour, salt, almonds and sugar to form a dough (with your hands or a mixer with a dough hook). Form the dough into a large ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees convection. Spread some flour on a suitable work surface, take the dough out of the fridge and the foil and cut off a piece. It’s best to take a smaller piece at first, until you get the hang of shaping the croissants and get a feel for it. Then you can try it right away with a larger piece. Put the rest of the dough back in the fridge.
Bake and decorate the croissants
Form a roll with a diameter of about 1.5 cm from the cut piece. Cut this in turn into smaller pieces of the same size (e.g., 4 to 5 cm long) and then shape into crescents, as seen earlier in the instructions, pressing the ends together slightly to make points. Alternatively, you can roll out the dough thickly and then cut out with a moon cookie cutter . Spread crescents on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bake the vanilla cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, checking every now and then so they don’t get too brown. They are done when the tops begin to change color very slightly. Remove them from the oven, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the vanilla sugar, and then sprinkle it on the crescents through a sieve. While they cool completely, you can cut out the next batch and bake them.
By the way, feel free to dip the tops of the croissants in chocolate, which you melt in a water bath beforehand, instead of sprinkling them with powdered sugar. Or how about combining the two?
Make vanilla crescents yourself – tip without eggs
The egg yolk gives the cookies their soft texture, but you can also leave them out. For this, reduce the amount of flour to 250 g and add 75 g powdered sugar instead of regular sugar. The rest of the ingredients from the recipe remain the same.
Vanilla crescents without almonds
Would you like to omit the almonds? Then prepare a dough for about 50 pieces using the following ingredients and process the dough as described above to make the typical cookies.
- 200 g flour
- 70 g powdered sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 100 g cold butter cut into small pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
After you make these vanilla crescents yourself, sprinkle them with powdered sugar as well, of course. For this, mix 75 g with 3 packets of bourbon vanilla sugar.
Would you like another recipe for shortbread? How about the delicious Hussarenkrapfen ?