These cookies appear in Vienna in December; powdered sugar celebrates the first snow of winter. The crescent celebrates the victory over the Turks who were discovered tunneling towards Vienna by bakers working at night in basement bakeries.
1/2 lb. blanched almonds, pecans or walnuts
1/4 lb white sugar (2/3 cup)
1 tbsp. real vanilla extract
1 lb. unsalted butter
1 1/4 lb. all purpose flour (4 cups sifted)
1/2 lb. (1 cup) confectioners sugar for dusting/topping
Originally made with almonds but now I prefer the wonderful flavor of pecans. Grind the nuts with the sugar until you have very fine pieces, but not flour. Mix the butter with the nut/sugar mixture and vanilla. Stir in the flour. Can be mixed by hand. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Use 1″ inch scoop to portion dough. Quickly roll dough between your hands into a 3″ cigarette shape and place on a lined cookie sheet, curving the ends to form a crescent shape. Place cookies 2″ apart, they will puff up. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the tips are lightly browned. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Sift powdered sugar generously over the tops of the cookies. Match 2 cookies together and place in paper cups. Makes about 60, keeps well for two weeks.
Recipe by Sister. Photo by Nephew.