Croatian Cooking: Vanilin Kiflice (Vanilla Crescent Cookies)
Vanilin Kiflice (vanilla crescent cookies) are the real deal in the middle and eastern parts of Europe when it comes to the best Christmas cookies to be found on the table each year!
That said, these are not just for Christmastime, we bake these kiflice year-round. Also known as roščići, these cookies are a shortbread-style of cookie made with the addition of nuts and a generous amount of vanilla sugar, so they are perfect to have ready to serve when unexpected guests arrive – as they store well in an airtight container.
Vanilla crescent cookies were originally from Vienna, Austria. In celebration of a victory over the Turkish empire, the locals created this pastry in the shape of the crescent moon found on the Turkish banner. We can say that in every bad thing there is something good, so these tasty cookies are the good following the bad war. Each crescent honors the victorious warriors.
When it comes to nuts in the dough you can also use almonds or hazelnuts if you prefer those – though the walnuts were used in the original recipe and it’s what most of us use here in Croatia. If you use blanched almonds just know, that you will end up with lighter color vanilla crescent cookies that you see in the photos.
Ingredients To Make Vanilin Kiflice
Makes approx 40 cookies (size dependent of course!)
- 300 g flour
- 200g butter (softened)
- 50 g sugar (editors note: I added more sugar to mine – 75 grams was better for us)
- 100 g ground walnuts
- 1 egg white
- 10 g vanilla sugar – you can get it here
- Pinch of salt
Extra: Powdered sugar (for sprinkling on top)
How To To Make Vanilla Crescent Cookies
- Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and knead until combined
- Shape the dough into a ball, and cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour
- Take a small piece of dough, and using both hands, roll, and form into a ‘U’ shape.
- Place the crescents onto a parchment paper on a baking tray and bake in the heated oven (200 °) for 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden
- Take out from the oven and let them cool completely before removing them from the tray
- Once the cookies have cooled, coat them in the icing sugar
- Stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, these cookies will keep for several weeks and are perfect for company, and are best served with a cup of tea or coffee.
Note: There is a cookie press for a similar shape of cookies so if you have one at home feel free to use it.
One more suggestion before the end, as you can see in this recipe there is no egg yolk. If you wish to use an egg yolk you can – you will get a dough that is much easier to work with but the cookies will not be as light and mouthwatering.