In Germany Christmas truly wouldn’t be the same without these divine Vanilla Almond Cookies. Every region, if not every family, has its own version of this traditional recipe. My sister has discovered this one years ago and it has become a classic in our Christmas cookie repertoire.
I love making them as like the Chocolate Orange Cookies, they will transform your kitchen into an oasis for the senses, spreading the sweetest vanilla aroma all over the house and sending anyone to heaven and back when stepping into the kitchen.
This recipe is ideal for anyone who doesn’t have much time to spare as the dough can be prepared in advance and frozen for up to a month until needed. Vanilla Almond Cookies are best when baked in advance, as they need to rest to achieve the desired flavour and melting texture, making them the perfect gift for Christmas.
Please use the best ingredients you can afford for this recipe as good vanilla and butter are crucial to achieve the desired taste.
Vanilla Almond Cookies Ingredients (makes approx. 60)
Source: My sis
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time in the Fridge: 2 hours (ideally overnight)
Baking Time: 10-12 minutes (per tray)
Maturing Time: Once baked, store in a cake tin for at least one week before eating
You will also need: A baking tray and greaseproof paper
- 2 vanilla pods
- 150g (5 1/4 oz) caster sugar
- 250g (8 3/4 oz) plain flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 210g (7 3/8 oz) unsalted cold butter (cubed)
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) ground almonds (skinless)
Vanilla Almond Cookies Preparation
1. Scrape out all the vanilla from the pods and mix up by rubbing the vanilla together with the sugar.
Note: Don’t discard the vanilla pods. Scent your sugar by adding the leftover pods to your sugar jar.
2. Separate 80g of the vanilla-sugar and mix together with the flour, salt, and almonds. Store the remaining sugar in a separate bowl for later on, to toss the baked vanilla almond cookies.
3. Place the dry ingredients on a clean surface, add the butter and quickly knead to a dough. If using a food processor just add all the dry ingredients and butter and quickly whizz to a dough.
4. Roll the dough into two sausages with approx. 1 inch diameter (2 pound coin), wrap in cling film and cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or ideally over night.
Note: You can prepare the dough in advance and freeze the wrapped dough rolls for up to one month. When needed, remove from the freezer and leave to defrost at room temperature.
5. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C (340°F/fan oven 300°F).
6. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper/baking parchment.
7. Unwrap the chilled dough sausages and cut into slices of approx. 5-7mm (1/4 inch).
8. Warm the dough between your hands by rolling into a small ball and then into a small sausage. Place in a moon shape on the baking tray.
9. The Vanilla Almond Cookies will only grow slightly, you can place them closely.
10. As soon as the tray is filled, place in the oven, set an alarm and bake for 10-12 minutes. If you don’t have enough trays, check out the second note in point 6. of the Chocolate Orange Cookies recipe.
Note: Don’t be tempted to open the oven as a temperature drop will change the baking time, risking to under or over bake the cookies.
11. The Vanilla Almond Cookies can burn easily towards the end, watch the corners as they will catch colour first.
12. When the Vanilla Almond Cookies are done, remove from the oven and leave 3-5 minutes to cool on the tray. While still warm, gently toss the cookies in the vanilla sugar as once they are cold the sugar won’t sick.
Note: While hot, the Vanilla Almond Cookies will crumble very easily, give them several minutes to cool before being tossed in sugar.
13. As the Vanilla Almond Cookies don’t contain any eggs, they will keep for up to two months in a cake tin if stored in a cold, dry and dark place.
14. Make sure you bake the cookies at least one week before you want to enjoy them as they need a little time to mature in order to be at their best.