Croatian Vanilla Crescent Cookies Recipe (Vanilin Kiflice)

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Post author Vedran

Written by our local expert Vedran

Vedran is a total food lover from Croatia. He creates recipes from his kitchen in Zagreb using fresh produce from his garden.

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.

How To Make Vanilin Kiflice Vanilla Crescent Cookies Recipe 5 (1)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.

How To Make Vanilin Kiflice Vanilla Crescent Cookies Recipe 5 (1)

Vanilin Kiflice Recipe (Croatian Vanilla Crescent Cookies)

Vanilin Kiflice (vanilla crescent cookies) are the real deal when it comes to the best Christmas cookies to be found on the table each year! Here is how to make them!


  • 300 g all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 200 g butter, softened (14 tablespoons)
  • 75 g white sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 100 g ground walnuts (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 10 g vanilla sugar (2 teaspoons)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar for dusting at the end


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and knead until combined
  2. Shape the mixture into one piece, and cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour (this will make them crisper when they cook!)
  3. Take a small piece of the mixture, and using both hands, shape gently into a 'U' shape - this will take some practice, as the mixture is wet and a bit sticky. Try, try, and try again if you need
  4. Place the "U" shaped-crescents onto a parchment paper on a baking tray and bake in the heated oven 200°C (390°F) for 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden
  5. Take out from the oven and let them cool completely before removing them from the tray
  6. Once the cookies have cooled, powder them in the icing sugar
  7. 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


There is a cookie press in a similar shape, if you would prefer to use it you can.

As you can see in this recipe there is no egg yolk. If you wish to use an egg yolk you can add it to get a dough that is much easier to shape - but, the cookies will not be as light and mouthwatering

How To Make Vanilin Kiflice Vanilla Crescent Cookies Recipe 8 (1)

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Comments (10)

  1. I followed your recipe exactly…
    Would not roll into ball until I used an additional 2 egg whites. maybe 1 XL egg would yield better result.
    Cook time at 350 degrees preheated bake setting was 12 minutes.
    No need to chill. I didn’t find the dough to be differently pliable after 40 min in fridge . But I did roll into saran wrap ball .
    Use hand to squeeze/Grip /pulse dough into shape. Dough will not roll without crumbling.
    Thanks for the inspiration. My daughter enjoyed the shaping and eating part best.

    1. Hello Vesna, it does not have to be a complete ball, its just to be all combined to go to the fridge. Placing it in the fridge won’t change the texture, but it makes them crispier when they come out of the oven if it’s cold when it goes into the oven. Also yes, you can’t roll this like a pastry dough, it’s a wet mixture that you need to use two hands to make into a crescent shape. Gald you enjoyed them.

  2. My six year old son and I made these tonight and were very pleased! We’ve used other Kiflice recipes in the past but this one was just right. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Hello!!! I have an allergy to nuts, is there any way to exclude the nuts or do i have to replace it with something to maintain consistancy ? Thanks so much!!!

  4. I don’t know if I missed it, but how many does this yield? I want to try them this year. Thanks!

  5. I like this recipe better than the Greek one, and it was easier to make it. Your recipe does not show the size to make it, about says 30 pieces. I made 30g size, 24 pieces

  6. I did not use just egg white, but 1 whole egg beaten. Does this make difference?
    I thought it looked dry so I added 2 tablespoons Maraschino, it worked out quite well but smells alcohol so maybe add milk instead. How is the difference?

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