These cookies have been a Christmas family favorite for 20 years. Flaky and buttery, they are worth the effort. Almonds can be substituted for hazelnuts.
INGREDIENTS (for 2 servings):
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup hazelnuts, ground
- 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1 whole vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and extracts. Hand mix until thoroughly blended. Shape dough into a ball. Refrigerate covered for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, place sugar in a bowl or small container. With sharp, pointed knife, split vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out seeds, mix seeds into sugar. Cut pod into 2-inch pieces and mix into sugar.
Remove dough from refrigerator and form into 1 inch balls. With palms of hands, roll each ball into a small roll, 3 inches long. Place rolls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Curve each roll to make a crescent shape.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until set, but not brown.
Let stand 1 minute, then remove from cookie sheets. With spatula, place hot cookies on large sheet of foil. Sprinkle with prepared sugar mixture. Turn gently to coat on both sides. Cool. Store in air-tight container. Just before serving, coat with more vanilla sugar mixture, if desired.