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This is a recipe that I learned in Austria, where it is a standard for the Christmas season. Western Austrians love hazelnuts, and use them in the majority of their baked goods. These are traditionally hand formed into half moon shapes, but I prefer to roll them into small balls and press a whole hazelnut into the top. Preparation time does not include chilling of dough.
- If the hazelnuts are raw, toast them by spreading them out on a baking sheet and putting them in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes. Shake the pan a few times.
- Put the flour and the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor together and run until the hazelnuts are completely ground up (you are basically making hazelnut flour). Combining the nuts with the flour makes the whole process neater.
- Put all the ingredients into a large bowl.
- Mix by hand, quickly. Don't overmix. You may see flecks of butter, that's okay.
- Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and cool in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight.
- Work with half the dough at a time, keeping the rest refrigerated.
- Roll the dough into an oblong, and then cut quickly into equal size pieces, the size of a large walnut. Each piece should be rolled briefly between the palms and then put on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press a whole hazelnut into the cookie, fairly deeply.
- Bake ten minutes at 350 Fahrenheit. They should be very lightly browned when you take them out of the oven.
- Let sit until cool. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar.
this is a traditional Austrian recipe for vanilla crecents or vanilla kipferl in german language. In vienna we use almonds instead of hazelnuts and ground them with sugar and vanilla and not with flour. Here in Austria its everybodys'must make' recipe during holiday season. Try them with almonds, they are really 'melt in your mouth' cookies.