With the summer break stretching out ahead, there’s been plenty of time spent sitting at home looking at recipes. Poring over the numerous cookbooks that our share house has accumulated, collecting more cookbooks from the local library, stalking food blogs…it’s an addiction. An unhealthy one? I’ll leave that up to you. Rather than doing the more important things in life, such as washing that dress with the spilled Moscato on it from back in October (dear god, was it really October?! What a grot) a certain someone has spent a lot of time looking at recipes. It’s easy to become lethargic, to simply sit there and consider all the things one could be cooking. The other variance is to actually get off one’s butt and cook ‘all the things’, yet remain steadfastly disinclined to blog about them. Things are going to change. Honestly.
About 10 days ago (yeah, we’re still a tad slow getting out of the blocks) I baked these Vanilla Kippels. Today I’m finally writing about them. There we go, not so hard, is it? Margaret Fulton’s Baking Bible has been a brilliant investment, and these cookies are yet another testament to that. Delicate, oh-so-slightly crumbly, with vanilla and almond undertones, they’re the perfect start to the Christmas baking season. Let’s hope that your fruit mince, Christmas Cake and Plum Pudding were baked yonks ago and are sitting pretty in the cool, dark depths of your cupboard. What was that, someone made their fruit mince at the start of last week? I wonder who that was? Annnyway… Delightful with a cup of tea or small glass of dessert liqueur after dinner, they’ll keep for a number of weeks if stored in a glass jar. Christmas baking needn’t be stressful – arm yourself with some of these ‘make-ahead’ recipes and you’re laughing. Though that advice is slightly by-the-by given that there’s only 3 days to go! These Kippels also work well as a beaut homemade Christmas gift. Tie a pretty bow around the jar and voila! One gorgeous home-made – and delectable – gift done and dusted.
Rather than looking at all the Christmas treats you could be making, hop up off the couch (you’re forgiven for being time-short if you’re a full-time working lass/lad) and toddle into the kitchen. Vanilla Kippels coming right up…
Makes about 30 cookies
100g roasted almonds
125g butter, softened
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 ¼ cups plain flour
Pinch of salt
Splash of water
Icing sugar to dredge (I used about ½ cup)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 3 baking sheets with baking paper.
Place the nuts in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped (you don’t want to head into almond meal territory).
Cream the butter and sugar, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.
Sift the flour and salt together and combine with the almonds. Gently fold this into the butter/sugar mixture and use your hands to lightly work the mixture into a soft dough, adding a splash of water if necessary.
Take small teaspoonfuls of the dough and roll into small balls, about the size of a walnut. *Note: If the dough if very soft and difficult to handle due to warm weather, pop in the fridge for an hour before resuming shaping. Then roll each ball into a small log and curve gently to form a crescent. Place on baking trays, with a little room between each – they don’t grow much.
Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer Kippels to a wire rack to cool.
While still warm, dunk into a bowl of icing sugar and toss to coat well before returning back to the wire rack to continue cooling.
Store in an airtight jar for up to two weeks.
Source: Barely adapted from Margaret Fulton Baking: The Ultimate Collection