Vanillekipferl Recipe at Ginger and Baker

by George Gastl, Chef, The Cache at Ginger and Baker (first published on December 12, 2019)

What’s my favorite holiday recipe? During the holidays, I so love that my wife, Tanja Janssen, who was born and grew up in Germany, takes over in the kitchen and makes these delicious kipferl (half moon) cookies.


  • 260g flour
  • 100g almond meal
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 80g powdered sugar
  • 1 package (9g) vanilla sugar*
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 200g chilled butter, chopped into flakes
  • flour for shaping the kipferl
  • 150g powdered sugar, for rolling
  • 2-3 (9g ea.) packages vanilla sugar, for rolling

On a clean work surface, combine flour with almond meal, salt, powdered sugar and 1 package vanilla sugar, creating a small pile. Create a trough in the middle of the pile.  Add the egg yolk to the trough and spread the butter in flakes on the flour.

Chop everything with a knife until crumbly and quickly knead into a smooth dough. Wrap in foil and cool in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to a week.

Preheat oven to 180°C / 360°F. On a floured surface, form the dough into thumb-thick rolls. Slice the rolls into pieces about 2-inches long and 1-inch thick, forming points at both ends of each piece. Shape them into kipferl (half moons) and place the cookies onto several sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 12 minutes. Mix the remaining 150g powdered sugar with the 2-3 packages of vanilla sugar in a bowl or on a plate

When the kipferl are ready, immediately transfer the kipferl into the vanilla sugar (careful, those are hot) and remove to cooling racks.  Enjoy!

*Vanilla sugar is commonly used in German baking. You can order it online or make your own by splitting a vanilla bean lengthwise, scraping out the seeds and combining bean halves and seeds with 2 cups granulated sugar in a ziptop bag for 1 week.

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