[The traditional Austrian Christmas cookies. These, though, are the best Vanillekipferln ever. Says everyone. *g*]
# 210 g butter (room temperature)
# 110 g powdered sugar
# 140 g finely ground walnuts (We usually buy halves and grind them ourselves before we make the cookies; it might be superstition, but we think that makes the dough less dry and the cookies taste better. My grandmother's recipe suggests almonds as an alternative, but we haven't used them literally in decades, ever since a rather traumatising case of crumbling.)
# ca. 280 g flour, maybe a bit less
# powdered sugar and a few packets or coffee-spoons of vanilla sugar to roll them in.
# Beat the butter and sugar with a hand mixer (or, I guess, kitchen machine) until it's a creamy/fluffy mixture.
# Add ground walnuts.
# Add about three quarters of the flour.
# Knead by hand as much of the rest of the flour into the dough as necessary. I know this is annoyingly vague, but it really depends a bit on the nuts. The dough should be smooth, but not sticky, and not too soft, because you need to form the Kipferln, but we usually don't use all the flour.
# Cut off a bit of dough, make a roll and cut it into pieces.
# Roll out each piece with the palm of your hand and form Kipferln.
# Bake at ca. 180 degrees until they're a bit brown, especially the ends.
# While they're baking, prepare a plate with powdered sugar mixed with vanilla sugar.
# Now that's the tricky part. When they're finished, let them rest on the baking tray for a couple of minutes, then put them upside down into the sugar/vanilla sugar mix, and then turn them around. In the end they should be covered in sugar all over. It's important to do this while they're still hot, or the sugar won't stick, but it's also important to wait a few minutes, because if they're still too hot, they're likely to break.
(# Left-over sugar goes into the next cookie dough.)
# Finished! :) They are quite crunchy at first, but will turn softer and even more delicious after a week or so in an air-tight tin.