Vanillekipferl Cookies

In Desserts by Frances Largeman-Roth

Makes 15 servings | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 10 min

I have vivid memories of making these vanillekipferl cookies with my mom when I was growing up. There was always powdered sugar all over the kitchen table for days! I always wanted to eat the cookies right out of the oven, but my mom would tell me to wait patiently until we had coated them in a good amount of powdered sugar.

My mom learned to make these from her mother in Germany. I hope you enjoy this holiday tradition and share the recipe with your own family.


Makes 30-32 cookies

1 cup raw almonds

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed

Pinch of sea salt

½ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (such as the one from Spice House)

For topping:

½ cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla sugar 


  1. Place almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 5-6 minutes. Cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and grind until the almonds look like flour (do not overgrind or they will become almond butter). 
  2. Add the flour, butter, salt, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Press the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Use a tablespoon to scoop up the dough and roll into a small log. Use your hands to shape each log into a crescent, then place onto the baking sheet, about an inch apart. Repeat until all of the dough has been used. 
  4. Bake cookies for 14 to 15 minutes, until the edges are just slightly golden (cookies should still be light in color). Cool on a cooling rack.
  5. Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar for the topping, then sift over the cookies until completely coated. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container on the counter for about 14 days.