Vanilla kippels

Vanilla kippels


Margaret Fulton Favourites
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

Vanilla kippels, or kipferls, as they are known in Germany and Austria, are usually made at Christmas. They can be made with different nuts, such as walnuts or almonds, although in Bavaria it is nearly always hazelnuts. Care should be taken to process the nuts to a meal without letting them become a paste. There should be little pieces of nut recognisable in the mixture. The vanilla taste is also important. Store the biscuits in a glass jar together with a piece of vanilla bean — they make a lovely gift when presented in this way and will keep for several weeks.


Quantity Ingredient
100g walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts
125g butter, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/4 cups plain flour
A pinch salt
Vanilla sugar, for dusting
or sifted icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter 2 baking trays. Using the pulse button, process nuts in a food processor until finely chopped or coarsely ground.
  2. Use an electric beater to cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla until the mixture is light and fluff y. Sift the flour with the salt and fold into the creamed mixture along with the walnuts. Lightly mix to form a dough. If the mixture is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  3. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into walnut-size balls. Roll each ball in the palm of the hand to form a small tube, then curve gently into a crescent. Arrange on the prepared baking trays.
  4. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until lightly coloured. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack over a sheet of greaseproof paper. Dredge the kippels lightly with vanilla sugar or sifted icing sugar while they are still warm. Cool and store in an airtight container.


  • In warmer weather the dough may be a little tricky to handle. In this case, knead lightly until smooth and then form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
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