Tanya’s Christmas cookie recipe aka Kipferl

The recipe for the BEST Christmas cookies on Earth!

These are actually called Kipferl in Austria and are some of my favorite cookies, ever. The recipe from my dear friend in London (who is actually Austrian) sent me his favorite version of these cookies years ago and I bake them to perfection every year since. You will thank me! Let’s get baking!


125g = 1 cup caster sugar

200g butter (cold from the fridge)

250g = 2 cups plain flour

200g = 2 cups ground almonds

2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar mixed in with 3 table spoons of icing sugar.

This recipe is great if you have a good processor with a large chopping blade. If not make it by hand using a knife on your worksurface. Don’t use the Kitchenaid mixer as you do not want to overwork the dough.

In the food processor: add the flour, sugar and almonds into the bowl of the food processor. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add into the food processor. Pulse until it resembles sand. Add the two egg yolks and pulse again until it comes together as a dough. If it’s not forming a dough quickly add a few drops of ice-cold water. The dough should come together easily now. Important: don’t overwork or the kipferl will be tough. Bring the dough together by hand and form into a 2inch sausage. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1/2 hour to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Line two baking sheets with non-stick parchment.

Remove dough from fridge and cut into 1cm slices. Form each disk into tapered mini sausages and bend into shape. Place on baking sheet (leave a little space as they will spread a little). Bake for 10-15min until pale golden. Remove from oven and place on wire rack. The Kipferl are very fragile when hot, so slide the whole lot on the paper onto the cooling rack. Traditionally the kipferl are tossed in the vanilla icing sugar, but I find too many break, so I use a tea strainer with the icing sugar and just dust one side liberally. Trust me this is plenty. It is important though that you dust the kipferl while they are still warm otherwise the sugar won’t stick.

That’s it. When cooled keep the kipferl in an airtight tin. They keep for a couple of weeks before they go soft, but I like them best as fresh as possible.

My Kipferl are quite big. They make them quite a bit smaller in Austria but I find you only get sugar and not enough almond flavour in each bite.

Now if you don’t have a food processor get one! It makes it much easier but if not here is how you do it by hand:

Pile the flour, sugar, almonds on your work surface. Put the cubed butter on top and using a large knife chop through it all until you get small pieces, then make a little well on the top and add the egg yolks. Using your hands bring together and quickly knead into a soft dough. Again add a little ice cold water if needed. This works best if you have cold hands. If not cool your hands in cold water, dry and your mainly your fingertips for the kneading.

There you,  folks! Let me know how it goes when you make them for yourself. Or better yet, tell me how long they lasted. Our’s barely cool off before they are gone. Glad I snapped a photo in time.