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Vanilla Crescents

These pretty powdered cookies are one of three featured recipes in the 2013 MyNorth Holidays Guide from Daniela Weiner. Daniela grew up in Austria’s Tyrolean mountains—a land of legendary snowscapes and kitchens scented with vanilla and cinnamon. As a child, Weiner baked with her grandmother, then went on to train in Chicago before moving to Traverse City where she’s cultivated a loyal (and addicted!) following. With the help of partner Laura Salvatore, Weiner markets her sweet masterpieces through her pastry catering business, Daniela’s Delectables.

“This is my family’s recipe and Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them,” Daniela says.

Ingredients

  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 ounces toasted almonds
  • 2 1/5 ounces powdered sugar
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 1/2 ounces butter, cut in small pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Combine flour, almonds, powdered sugar, lemon zest and salt in the food processor and pulse until the almonds are all ground up. Add the butter and pulse for 30 seconds. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and pulse to combine. Place the dough on a clean work surface and knead till it’s combined. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350° and position one rack in the upper third and one in the lower third. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lightly flour your work surface and roll pieces of the dough into 2-inch ropes. Taper the ends slightly, and form the ropes into crescents. Carefully transfer the crescents to the baking sheets, about 1/2 inch apart.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes until the bottoms are golden and the tops pale blond, rotating the sheet trays half way through baking time to ensure even baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Fill a small bowl with confectioners’ sugar. While the cookies are still warm, coat them in the sugar and transfer to a clean sheet of parchment paper to cool slightly. Roll the cooled cookies in the sugar again and let cool completely.