Mandulás kifli – Almond crescents

Most of the time the best cookies are the ones that are made with simple ingredients. Turn to this almond cookie recipe when you want something quick and easy.

Almond crescent (or vanilla crescent as it’s often called in Hungary) was an emblematical cookie of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy that used to be made for Christmas. The cookie’s half moon shape symbolized the Hungarian victory over the Turks.

Today these cookies are made for any occasion throughout the year, not only for Christmas. Instead of almond you can use walnut or roasted hazelnuts. The crescents are usually rolled in vanilla sugar, but dipping the ends of the crescents into dark chocolate is also a popular decorating technique.

Almond crescents - Mandulás kifli


  • 280 g (~10 oz) flour
  • 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) ground almonds
  • 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) powdered sugar
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g (~7 oz) soft butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 80-100 g (~3 – 3 1/2 oz) powdered vanilla sugar
  • 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sift flour in a bowl. Add powdered sugar, ground almonds, salt, vanilla extract, egg yolks and cubed butter, and knead into a smooth dough. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each of the four pieces of dough between your hands, making four ropes, about 20 cm/7-8 inch long. Wrap the ropes in cling film and put them into the fridge for two hours.

Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 200°C/392°F.

Cut the dough ropes into 1 cm / 1/2 inch thick slices, and roll each slice into tiny 5-6 cm / 2 inch long crescents. Place the crescents onto the baking sheets and bake them for 10-12 minutes.

Once they are done, roll half of the crescents in powdered vanilla sugar. Place them onto a wire rack and let them cool. The other half of the crescents should be left on the baking sheet until they are cool.

Melt the chocolate with the oil in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl), stirring a few times until the chocolate is just melted.

Dip both ends of the crescents into the chocolate, then set each piece on the wire rack. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.

Store the cookies in an airtight container, in layers separated by a sheet of parchment paper.

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