Vanillekipferl : Crescent Cookies this Christmas

Mary Berry, Mother of the Baking God blessed me with her smile in a dream on a drowsy summer afternoon. Nigel Slater, the Gay God of Small Things inspired me to get back to baking after a 5 year break.

Living in Germany for the second time in life had given me a Writer’s Block for lack of inspiration, Mumbai’s craziness and too many things, people and events to experience. Just as there weren’t any hot Rickshaw-wallahs or the odd Goan Catholic boy in the village to gawk at, or occasionally lure into my lair for frisky sex, there were a lot of other Candy that would create orgasms in my hot pipes. This time, I’m using fake sexual innuendo. I’m referring to the art of Baking.

Mary Berry, Mother of the Baking God blessed me with her smile in a dream on a drowsy summer afternoon. Nigel Slater, the Gay God of Small Things inspired me to get back to baking after a 5 year break. We all know how very few homes in India have ovens, or access to ingredients that most Western bakers require. And then the Great British Bake Off happened, or the occasional Küchenschlacht (Kyu-chen-shlaa-khh-t) or Kitchen Wars on German Telly, further inspiring me to just take the up the home-baker’s apron and layer my fingernails with flour, sugar, vanilla and chocolate. A new way of looking at dirty, smelly fingers, no?

End of the banter. End of the Intro.

Vanillekipferl are quite the Christmas Cookies baked in German-speaking parts of Europe. The reason they’re so famous, is the simplicity of the cookies – there’s no spice, except Vanilla (scraped pods), and yet they’re crunchy and amazingly lip-smacking. Plus, these are absolute darlings in terms of letting a lot of people in the family make them, or even kids, just like the Seedai down south in Tamil Nadu during Janmashtami.

So here’s an authentic Vanillekipferl recipe (note: this is purely vegetarian, no egg):

Ingredients:

  • 280 g Flour, sieved
  • 200g Butter, at room temperature
  • 100g Almond flour (you could do with a 50g almond, 50g walnut mix)
  • 80g Icing sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla sugar or essence
  • 50g powdered vanilla sugar / icing sugar with vanilla

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor or blender to initially get at a crumb-like structure.

Use your tough, butch, macho, fists or just the regular queen’s hand to crunch the dough into one single ball – believe me, this takes quite some manual effort, but nothing like blessing dough with the warmth and crafty touches of a human hand (can’t seem to quote Paul Hollywood’s hetero-normative words here).

Cover the dough on all sides with a cling-foil and let it rest for at least 2 hours in a refrigerator, or if it’s snowing on your balcony, on a safe, dry substance.

Let the freakin’ dough rest!! Go on a fuck-date!

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C or 350°F.

Place a huge sheet of butter-paper or baking paper on a baking tray or alternatively, use a silicone baking sheet on the tray to serve as a base to place the cookies for baking.

Remove the dough, part into two halves. Place one half back in the fridge.

Roll out a dough into a long phallic noodle of approx. 1.5cm thickness and XXXXL length. Do not insert in any orifice!

Cut the dough into 2cm long pieces. Roll between your palms into a slightly thinner shape, working on the ends to get a sharp edge. With your index finger, turn one point edge towards the other in a U-shape, like a croissant.

Place the shaped cookies onto the baking tray (with paper) and bake for 12-13 minutes until the cookies are baked fluffy golden and not brown on the edges. Brown colour implies over-baking.

Remove the tray and spray the hot cookies with the vanilla icing sugar using a small chai-ka-filter or chhalni/sieve. Allow them to cool for 5-6 minutes and re-use the baking tray to finish making the remaining cookies from the dough in the fridge.

Watch out while storing or transporting these darlings, they’re really fragile and can break like melting ice once in your mouth.

Serve with Love.

Note: You can dip the ends of the Kipferl in molten dark or white chocolate and allow them to dry on a wire-rack or the baking paper. Additionally cou could sprinkle some dessicated dry coconut on the dark chocolate tips, or cinnamon if they’re white chocolate tips.

Vanillekipferl with dark chocolate tips

About the author

Srini

Distracted as ever - by life and its vibrant hues, Srini discovered writing recently when a bushy eye-browed Muse with luscious lips tickled his senses with her couplets. Fat man grew up to be a fitness conscious cook, a gardener by grandma's inherited green thumb and an Agnostic who used to believe in myriad rituals and gods and goddesses of the Southern landscapes, landscapes where rice paddies and Gopurams made people believe in the gifts of music, culture, art and nature's miracles. With a face that's expressive enough to throw off a couple of stubborn people off their stools, and an arse that can dance to drum and base, he's constantly trying to bridge his semi-German thoughts with his roots back in the Land of the Peppers. He writes, occasionally.