Please Welcome Author Silke Juppenlatz
BOOKS READ AND MAKEUP DONE
It's that time of year again.
No, not that time. I meant the time of year when people like to make cookies.
When I was asked to write a Christmassy post for Books Read & Makeup Done, I thought "Oh my. I know nothin' 'bout no makeup!" I know about books, but that's where my expertise ends.
And then I figured rather than tell you all about Smitten -- I'll appeal to your sweet tooth instead.
Christmas is almost upon us, and if your house doesn't smell of baked goodies, you're missing out.
I figured I'll fix it for you, with a very simple recipe for Christmas cookies you've probably never had.
It goes particularly well with hot cocoa, curled up in front of the fire, reading Smitten, or you could grab a copy of the "A Passionate Christmas" Anthology from Decadent Publishing, and curl up with that. Trust me. ;)
Let me introduce:
This particular cookie is a staple at Christmas in Germany, although Vanillekipferl are actually Austrian in origin.
They are not difficult to make, but speed (and cold hands!) are almost a must. Don't make these in a hot kitchen, if you can avoid it, because they will melt before you can bake them.
The cookies are crescent shaped, relatively small, but oh...so good! Believe me, once you've made them, and your kids (or other loved ones) have tasted them, they will demand you make them every year.
(Better bookmark this page right now. You'll need it again next year, when the demands for Vanillekipferl roll in.)
Right. Let's get to it.
For the dough:
60g (2oz) ground almonds
100g (3 1/2oz) cold butter
40g (6 1/2 tbsp) icing sugar
1 egg yolk
2 vanilla pods (beans)
175g (2 1/3 cups) flour
A pinch of salt
100-150g (1 - 1 1/2 cups) icing sugar
- Put the ground almonds into a skillet and brown them, then allow to cool.
- Sift the flour before using it.
- Scrape the pulp from the two vanilla pods into the flour, add icing sugar, almonds and salt.
- Add the COLD butter and egg yolk, and QUICKLY knead into a smooth dough. (It helps to have cold hands. I'm not kidding. Don't worry too much if it gets soft, but do it quickly.)
- Let the dough rest in a cool (preferably cold) place for 2 hours. I tend to stick mine in the fridge.
- Form the dough into about 30 crescents and put them on a baking sheet with parchment / baking paper.
- If you can, put the crescents in the fridge for about 10 minutes before baking them. It firms them up again.
- While your crescents are resting again (lazy buggers), preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes. (Or until a nice golden brown)
- Dust the still warm Vanillekipferl with vanilla icing sugar.
20 min preparation
10 min baking
2 hrs resting / cooling
The best way to store them is in an airtight tin, with every layer separated with parchment paper.
They keep for several weeks -- provided you don't let anyone near the tin...
For the vanilla icing sugar, you can take the two vanilla pods you add to the dough and put them into a glass jar with the icing sugar the day before. Seal it tight and leave it overnight. The sugar takes on the vanilla taste overnight.
Or you can just mix the vanilla powder into the sugar the day before.
She writes paranormal romance, usually at night, and blames Anne Stuart to this day for all her ambitions and strange stories, after reading one of her books.
These days the only thing going bump at "oh-dark-thirty" is her -- usually when she smacks into the sofa while creeping to the kitchen for another cup of coffee.
Silke likes to hear from her readers.
Feel free to contact her via her blog at http://www.evilauthor.com, follow her on Twitter, look her up on Goodreads or become a friend on Facebook and G+.