Saturday, December 17, 2011

Celebration Food: Vanillekipferl / Vanilla Kifli

Vanillekipferl are Austrian, German, Czech and Hungarian small, crescent shaped biscuits. They are usually made with ground almonds or hazelnuts. They are flavored with vanilla or artificial flavouring and have a heavy dusting of powdered and superfine sugar.


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Vanillekipferl originate from Vienna in Austria. Traditionally, they are made at Christmas, but they can be enjoyed all year round and are often for sale in Viennese coffee shops. They are said to have been created in the shape of the Turkish crescent to celebrate the victory of the Hungarian army over the Turkish in one of the many wars between the nations.

They are also widely baked in... Germany and are common in Hungary, Czech republic, Romania and Slovakia as a part of the typical Christmas baking. Since in Germany the Advent is celebrated by several denominations of Christianity on the four Sundays preceding Christmas, many kinds of biscuits and sweets are consumed during this time and have become typical for winter time.

vaníliás kifli is a small soft cookie made from a dough of ground nuts, instead of flour. It is usually made with walnuts but almonds are more often used outside of Hungary. Once baked they are rolled in vanilla flavored confectioners' sugar before allowed to cool.
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Here's A Recipe for you found atdownunder.com:
Vaníliás Kifli – Hungarian Walnut Biscuit
Makes about 70
  • 250gr or 2 cups flour (works with less as well)
  • 200gr or 2/3 cup + 1/4 cup unsalted butter, soften (+ if you make it with almond meal)
  • 80gr or 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 60gr or 1/3 cup ground walnut (100gr ground almond)
  • 5-6 drops vanilla essence (Good pinch of vanilla powder)
  • Icing sugar for dusting
In a bowl mix with your hand all the ingredients to form smooth paste. Let it rest covered in a cool place (not the fridge) for 30 minutes.
Butter two baking trays -or line them with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F. Cut the dough in 4 equal parts and roll to shape it like a log of 2cm/1 inch diameter. Cut the log every 5cm/2 inches and shape each piece like a crescent. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle with icing sugar.
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Here's a Recipe from Allrecipes.com
Vanilla Kifli

             Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vanilla sugar
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

  1. Cream together the butter with the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour.
  2. Turn into a ball, cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To form the crescents, roll about 1 Tbsp of the dough in the palms of your hands. Then continue rolling to form a rope about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Bend rope to form crescent. Repeat with remaining dough, placing on ungreased cookie sheets about 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies should be white in color. Let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes to prevent breaking. Then, while cookies are still warm, carefully roll in vanilla sugar. (May be found in bulk food stores). Repeat with remaining cookies. Cool cookies completely.
  6. Melt chocolate in a double boiler set over low heat. When cookies are cool, dip tips of each cookie in melted chocolate, then set on waxed paper to dry.     
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Suggested reading and recipes for your research: 
myrecipes.com/recipe/pecan-crescents
Kifli: Traditional Hungarian Pastry
Photo of a fun shape of Kifli 
wikipedia.org/wiki/Kifli

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