Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Almond Crescent Cookies with Italian Hot Chocolate

'It's the most wonderful time of the year...'. Okay maybe not yet, but hey November is almost over which means we are officially in holiday season right? Gauging from that last sentence you can probably tell my level of excitement about the upcoming holidays. Christmas really is the best time of the year. What's not to love about a season that's associated with family, festivities, singing and general jolliness?

Today I thought I'd share one of my favourite holiday recipes with you. Note, the term 'holiday' is applied very loosely here given that I consume these cookies all throughout the year and rarely ever on the holidays. Vanillekipferi (or crescent/horseshoe as they are more widely known) is a traditional Austrian sugar cookie made with nut flour. These cookies have such an impressive history that they are even accredited to being the fore-bearer of the popular French croissant. The cookie was first introduced to Paris in 1839 when an Austrian Army officer founded a Viennese Bakery. It is said, the french chefs were so inspired by his Austrian fare that they re-created the cookie in a flakier form, creating the croissant.

Now, no cookie is complete without a piping hot beverage alongside. And what better to pair these almond crescents with than a decadent mug of Italian hot chocolate. Picture your regular hot chocolate but in a rich, thick, silky texture. It's such a luxurious drink, I'm not sure if I'd even still classify it as a beverage. Actually, Italian hot chocolate and I go way back. I always associate it with cold winters spent in University cafes agonising over design dilemmas (ah the glamourous life of a starving student). It's amazing how food conjures up some of our fondest memories. What will you be eating these holidays?

Traditional Almond Crescents

250g unsalted butter softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 cups almond meal
2 cups plain flour sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
icing sugar to dust cookies

1. Preheat oven to 180C degrees, line tray with baking paper.
2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla till you get a smooth consistency.
3. Add the dry ingredients and fold till combined. This step can be done by hand with a spatula.
4. Let dough sit in a cool unrefrigerated place for 30 minutes. Cover with tea towel.
5. Shape cookies by rolling mixture into 1 inch balls, then slightly flatten. Holding dough between your index and thumb lightly squeeze until it takes on a crescent shape. Place on baking sheet and smooth over with fingers for an even finish.
6. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
7. Once cooled, sift icing sugar over each cookie. Coat liberally.

Italian Hot Chocolate

120g bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp corn flour
dollop of cream

1. In a saucepan over low heat, add chocolate and a tiny bit of milk. Stir with wooden spoon till melted.
2. Dissolve corn flour in milk, then slowly add to chocolate and mix to combine.
3. Continue simmering over low heat until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon.
4. Add sugar to taste. Serve with a dollop of thick cream.


Unknown said...

mmm they look yummy!!

<3 Val

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

these look delicious!

xx amy
Leopard and Lillies

Lolita in the Mix said...

Omg this looks amazing and delicious! Love the picture styling as well!! Yummy, perfect for cold winter days!! Reminds me of the hot chocolate and churros I always eat this season in barcelona! Hope you are doing well!! Big hugs and kisses from holland!

-xoxo- lorena


fabulouspetite said...

This looks so delicious. The decor on the hot chocolate is so pretty, I would be ashamed to dig in and messed it up but then again the fabulous taste will win over for sure. I will make the Italian hot chocolate for sure. I am challange when it comes to baking but will give it a try(fingers crossed).

We move to GA December last year. Yeah we are not that far. I think there should be a blogger's convention or bloggers fashion week so we can all meet. But if you guys happened to visit ATL, definitely will hook up or we visit TN.


Always Maylee said...

My goodness. Stop it. That's it, I'm making a list of all the things I'm going to make you feed me when we get to play next year! :)

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

dress up files said...

Amazing! How do you get the cream to look like a bear and a heart? Sorry if it's an obvious answer!


Alyssa said...

Ok, you are officially amazing. Those cookies look delicious and I completely agree–Italian hot chocolate is where it's at! I'm pretty sure I almost overdosed on it when I was abroad!

The Glossy Life

Kelly said...

Adorable and delicious, great combination!

Sparkles and Shoes

Jeans and a Teacup said...

These look amazing! Love a simple cookie with rich chocolate! You're pictures are always great!

The Dragonfruit said...

Must. Try. *_*
This looks sooo good! Its been raining here, and right now that looks like the perfect treat to make :)

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Trendy Teal

Crazy Style Love said...

Yummm, those look delicious! I just love simple cookies like that. I definitely have to make these!

xo Jenny
Crazy Style Love - Enter to win a Swarovski Bracelet!

Unknown said...

Great to see that I'm nit the only one crazy about Christmas, I become a 5 years old little girl by this season, everything makes me truly Happy and positive.
I have to try this cookie recipe, besides I have this really cute cookies shapers with bells, presents and santa, I love the way you decorated the chocolate is lovely.

Anonymous said...

This is the cutest post I have seen today! Would have loved to share this hot chocolate and the cookies with you.


Elise Mooijman said...

The cookies look super yummy! but Italian hot chocolate is not my taste :) to me it feel like drinking chocolate sauce.


Anonymous said...

Such a lovely post! And a great Almond Crescents recipe, worth sharing. I tweeted about it.

S said...

oh my goodness, the heart and bear on the hot chocolate is the cutest thing i've seen! how did you get it so perfect? ;)

steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

A Very Sweet Blog said...

jenee, that is the perfect pairing! i love hot chocolate and those almond cookies look sooooo good. excellent step by step and i love your teacups & saucers. delightful!

Unknown said...

That looks so cute!! It makes me wish I knew how to bake. I love your pictures! What a great holiday post!

Anonymous said...

Love all of your photos!! You're super talented! This looks so great! I love hot cocoa, so I'm going to have to try this recipe for sure!:)

Allison said...

OMG. These look too delicious. Why do you make the most amazing things ever? They put my box cupcake mixes to shame :/ haha
P.S. Don't forget to enter my Fossil Vintage Revival Bag Giveaway! :)

A's Fashion Files
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Unknown said...


Bettina said...

That italian hot chocolate. I need to make that ASAP

Unknown said...

look so yummy ^^

honey my heart said...

the cookies look so delicious! i like how you paired them with a chocolate drink :)

wendeelee said...

yummilicious! I AM MAKING THOSE COOKIES FOR SURE! Gorgeous photos!

trishie said...

OMG I want some hot chocolate and those cookies right now. How did you create the teddy face? Love the photos, Jenee, and that font!

Content Director - Strong Female Leaders said...

What a yummy treat. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Girlie Blog Seattle | Casual Clothes for Less

Carmen said...

Lovely pictures! And this hot chocolate looks amazing!

Unknown said...

This is so adorable and it looks yummy!

Gina Michele
Rock Mosaic

joy said...

This looks so delicious! And I absolutely love how you organized this post, it's so easy to follow along :)

Anonymous said...

MMMM AMAZING pics:) your blog is great and Im now following you.

If you want some cute Swedish decor inspiration..check out my blog:)

have a wonderful week dear

LOVE Maria from inredningsvis.se

Jenna DeSantis said...

Okay this post is seriously ahh-mazing!! You are so talented!! One of my favorite posts ever :-) My Italian family would love this.

XO Jenna

Chocolate Cookies & Candies said...

Jenee, I can't believe you raved about my rather lackluster food photography when YOURS look like the pages of a magazine! You and your sister have an incredible talent for baking, cooking and decorating. The attention to detail is just astounding.

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