Vegan Vanilla Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl) are traditional German Christmas cookies that are easy to make, delicious, and melt in your mouth.
Vanilla crescent cookies, also known as “Vanillekipferl” in German, are traditional crescent-shaped cookies that are popular in many European countries, especially during the Christmas season. These delicate and buttery cookies are often made with ground nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, and are generously coated in powdered sugar, giving them a snowy appearance.
As the name suggests, these cookies are typically shaped like crescent moons. The dough is rolled into small balls and then shaped into crescents before baking.
Vanilla crescent cookies have a crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth texture. The addition of ground nuts enhances the texture, providing a tender and slightly sandy consistency.
You can easily turn the traditional recipe vegan to enjoy the cookies even on a plant-based diet, as they traditionally don’t require eggs to bake. So just swap regular butter for quality vegan butter, and you’re all set!
These cookies are super easy to make, even if you are not a fan of cookie-baking (as I am not). They are also a great Christmas treat for the whole family or as a homemade gift idea for friends.
Vegan Vanilla Crescent Cookies Ingredients
The main ingredients usually include flour, ground nuts (commonly almonds or walnuts), butter, sugar, and vanilla. So all you need to make these little sweet treats are 5 ingredients and about an hour of your time.
Flour: Provides structural support without excessive gluten development and maintains a delicate and tender texture in the cookies.
Ground Walnuts: add a rich, nutty flavor and impart a slightly coarse texture. It also enhances taste and contributes to a distinctive, crumbly consistency. You can replace ground walnuts with ground hazelnuts or ground almonds.
Icing Sugar: Adds sweetness to the cookies and enhances their visual appeal with a powdered finish.
Vegan Butter: acts as a plant-based fat for a tender texture. It provides richness, and flavor, and helps maintain the crescent shape during baking. We like to use the brand Violife or Naturli (not sponsored), but you could also use a plant-based margarine.
Vanilla Extract: Infuses a sweet and aromatic vanilla flavor into the cookies.
*Note: you will find the exact measurements in the recipe card below.
How to make Vegan Vanilla Crescent Cookies
This is a very easy and simple cookie recipe that is fool-proof and perfect to make even if you are a novice cookie baker or just want to enjoy some homemade vegan cookies this season. I generally hate baking cookies, but I can always whip up a batch of these vanilla crescents!
Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (160°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside until later.
Make the dough
In a large mixing bowl, bring together the flour, ground walnuts, and icing sugar. Give it a thorough mixing to guarantee an even distribution of all the ingredients.
Take the cold vegan butter and cut it into small cubes. Incorporate these cubes into the dry mixture using either your fingertips, a pastry cutter, or a food processor until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.
Now, add the vanilla extract or paste into the mixture and continue stirring until the dough starts to come together. It may appear slightly crumbly, but that’s perfectly fine.
Once the dough comes together and keeps its shape, shape it into a ball, cover it with cling film, and place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow it to set.
At this stage, you could refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days and save time later on. Make sure it’s wrapped well before storing, or it will dry out in the fridge. Then bring the dough out of the fridge and allow it to warm for 15 minutes on the counter, which will facilitate the shaping.
After refrigeration, retrieve the dough and shape it into cookies. Take small portions of the dough, roll them into balls, and then form each ball into a crescent shape by rolling it between your palms and tapering the ends slightly.
Alternatively, divide the dough into four equal pieces, roll each piece into a long “rope,” and then divide it into 10 equal pieces, yielding a total of 40 cookies. Then, shape each dough piece into a crescent as stated above.
Arrange the crescent-shaped cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving space between each.
Place the baking sheets in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or until the edges turn lightly golden. Keep a close eye on them to prevent over-baking.
Cool and dust in sugar
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes. While they are still warm, roll them in a mixture of icing sugar and vanilla sugar (or just icing sugar) before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Second Sugar Coating (Optional):
Once the cookies have completely cooled, you have the option to coat them in icing sugar once again for an extra layer of sweetness and to achieve that distinctive appearance. This double coating adds an extra touch of sweetness and enhances the visual appeal of the cookies.
These cookies get better with time as more flavor develops, so we recommend storing them for at least a day before serving.
Serve the cookies alongside hot beverages such as tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. The tender and crumbly texture of the cookies pairs well with the comforting warmth of these drinks.
You can arrange the crescent cookies on a festive cookie tray along with other holiday treats. This makes for a visually appealing and inviting presentation, perfect for gatherings or celebrations.
Christmas Gifts or Party Favors:
Package the cookies in decorative boxes or bags and share them as thoughtful gifts during the holiday season. They also make delightful party favors for guests. Always make sure to package them air-tight to preserve them fresh and crisp.
To store your vegan vanilla crescent cookies and keep them fresh, follow these steps:
Before storing the cookies, ensure that they have cooled completely to room temperature. Storing warm cookies can create moisture, which may affect their texture.
Use Airtight Container:
Transfer the cookies to an airtight container. This will help prevent the cookies from becoming stale and keep them fresh for a longer period. If you need to stack the cookies in the container, place a sheet of parchment paper between layers to prevent them from sticking together.
Store in a Cool, Dry Place:
Keep the airtight container in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing the cookies in direct sunlight or a location with high humidity, as these conditions can affect their texture and flavor. These cookies can easily be kept for up to 4 weeks.
Once you make the dough, you can wrap it in cling foil and keep it in the fridge for up to three days, before baking the cookies.
More similar recipes:
- 250 grams flour
- 120 grams walnuts, ground
- 90 grams icing sugar
- 200 grams vegan butter, cold
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
- 100 grams icing sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla sugar (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (160°C). Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine Dry Ingredients:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, ground walnuts, and icing sugar. Mix well to ensure even distribution of ingredients.
- Add Vegan Butter:
Cut the cold vegan butter into small cubes and add them to the dry ingredients. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. You can also use a food processor for this step.
- Add Vanilla:
Add the vanilla extract or paste to the mixture. Continue mixing until the dough starts to come together. It might be a bit crumbly, but that's okay.
Once the dough comes together, shape it into a ball, cover it with cling foil, and refrigerate for 15 minutes to help it set.
- Shape cookies:
After refrigeration, remove the dough from the fridge to shape the cookies. Take small portions of the dough and roll them into balls. Then, shape each ball into a crescent shape by rolling it between your palms and tapering the ends slightly. Place the crescent-shaped cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving some space between each.
Alternatively, you can divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, then roll each piece into a long "rope", then divide it into 10 equal pieces. This way you get exactly 40 cookies.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Keep an eye on them to prevent over-baking.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then roll them in a mixture of icing sugar and vanilla sugar (or just icing sugar) before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Sugar coating:
Once the cookies are completely cooled, you can coat them in icing sugar again (double coating) for extra sweetness and that distinct look.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.