I had to make these cookies; they are my husband’s favourite. It makes sense that he likes them (marzipan fanatic that he is) because the main ingredient is almonds. The cookie crescent is then rolled in vanilla sugar, another plus in his book.
Very easy cookie to make. Just pulse the ingedients together, shape, chill and bake.
Hornchen with Vanilla Sugar adapted from Carole Walter’s Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets
200g whole almonds (or pre-ground almonds)
120g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, slightly firm
335g all purpose flour
130g vanilla sugar (either buy this or make it yourself by roasting a vanilla pod for 5 minutes at 150C and then processing it in a mixer with 500g of sugar).
1. Place the nuts and superfine sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse five or six times, then process for 15 seconds. The nuts should be finely ground, but not mealy.
2. In a large bowl, knead the nut-sugar mixture, the butter, and one-third of the flour together. Add the remaining flour in three more additions, kneading gently until incorporated. (I just added the butter to the nuts and sugar and pulsed it until the mixture came together.)
3. To shape the cookies, pinch off small pieces of dough and roll between your hands into balls, then roll each ball into strips, taper the ends, and form into crescents. Place the crescents 2 cm apart on ungreased cookies sheets. Chill for half an hour. (I weighed out the dough into 10g portions to ensure the biscuits are uniform. Here in Berlin, they have Hornchen trays.)
4. Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 175 C and bake the Hornchen for 8 minutes, or until the tips just begin to brown. To ensure even browning, toward the end of baking times rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back.
5. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes and, while still warm, roll in the vanilla sugar.
6. Allow to air dry on racks for 2-3 hours. Then store in airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 3 weeks.