Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vanilla/almond crescent shaped cookies or Vaníliás-mandulás kifli

I have a favorite Xmas and New Year coffee cookie, a kinda linzer if you want to give them some names.
They are VERY easy to make, trust me, don't bother with the ones in the shop which are full of E-s :).

250 g pastry flour (you can use half whole grain as well)
200 g butter
80 g icing sugar
100 g almond flour (ground almond)
1 tsp vanilla aroma (optional)
Vanilla sugar for rolling the croissants

Mix the butter with sugar until creamy (and vanilla, if you add any), add the almond and the normal flour and work it well together in a soft dough. Form small, about 5-6 cm long and 1 cm thick croissants. Not too big ones, though the dough doesn't have baking powder it will grow pretty big, and don't make them very pointed at the ends either, it will burn too early.
Place them on trays covered with parchment paper. Bake them for 10-15 minutes at 175 C - 350 F(my oven is not heating up very well, so I baked them at 180 C), depends how golden you want them.
While still hot roll them in the vanilla sugar if you like them sweet, if you prefer them moderately sweet is enough if you just sprinkle them a little bit.
Be careful, for the first half a minute/minute they are the most fragile cookies I've ever baked, but eventually they harden enough to be able to manipulate them.

If you want to play with the shapes, you can also roll the dough, about 3-4 mm thick, and cut it with your cookie cutters, and even glue two of them together with jam, like raspberry or blueberry jam.
The dough is not easy to work with in this case, so better use two sheets of baking paper, one below and one on top when rolling, and you'll need some spatula to place the cookies in the trays.

PS. If you live in the US, like I do at the moment, and are struggling finding vanilla sugar, don't panic. Buy a small bottle with two vanilla beans like Simply Organic, cut them, take the small black seeds out and mix it with sugar, kinda filling the original bottle back till almost full, about 100g sugar. You can squeeze even the whole leftover of the beans in the bottle, it will intensify the flavor.
Close the cork and let it soak in the aroma for a week at least for best results. 

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