This recipe for Czech vanilla crescents or vanilkove rohlicky is popular year-round, but especially at Christmas time when they become part of vánoční cukrový (vah-NAWTCH-nee tsoo-KRAW-vee), or Christmas sweets.
Some people like to roll these in vanilla sugar while they are still hot, but I prefer them rolled in confectioners' sugar. It looks like they've been dusted with freshly fallen snow -- so perfect for Christmas!
- 8 ounces butter (room-temperature)
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups almonds (finely chopped, or hazelnuts)
- Garnish: confectioners' sugar
- Heat oven to 325 F. In a large bowl, cream 8 ounces room-temperature butter and add 5 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 tablespoon water and cream again.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and add to creamed mixture, combining thoroughly. Add 2 cups finely chopped nuts of choice until completely incorporated.
- Form walnut-size pieces of dough into crescent shapes on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.
- Allow cookies to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet. And then, while still warm, roll in confectioners' sugar or vanilla sugar.
- When cookies are completely cool, again roll in confectioners' sugar or vanilla sugar. Transfer to an airtight container. These will keep several weeks.
More Czech Christmas Cookie Recipes
- Basic Christmas Cookie Recipe: This basic Czech cookie is known as susenky and it can be formed into myriad shapes, some filled, so you'd never know it came from the same recipe.
- Butter Cookie Recipe: Known as maslove pecivo in Czech, these cookies can be forced through a press or rolled into balls and indented to make thrumbprints and then topped with a cherry or nuts.
- Black and White Cookies Recipe: These are known as linecke testo dvoubarevne in Czech and are made with chocolate and vanilla doughs in various arrangements -- pinwheels, checkerboards and more.
- Pirouette Cookies Recipe: These Parisian cookies are called parizske pecivo in Czech. In the States, they are known as pirouettes made by tightly rolling cookies while still warm.
- Bears' Paws Recipe: In medvedi tlapicky, a cocoa-flavored dough is baked in madeleine pans and the cooled cookie ends are dipped into melted chocolate and four almond "claws" are inserted into the paw.