Dec 14, 2012

Austrian croissants

I'm continuing my countdown to Christmas with cookies. My cookie jar can't be standing empty. The gingerbread cookies are gone.

I didn't want anything with ginger or cloves or anything with rolling the dough and cutting out the shapes. I need to save some energy and taste buds for the big day.

I found the recipe on the Italian website. They don't have thousands of cookie ideas like Foodnetwork, maybe 10 or 20. That's sometimes easier when you are lost in the cookie world. The croissant is an old Austrian tradition. Austrian or not, Christmas and tradition are almost synonymous.

I made them yesterday, very easy. All the ingredients go together in one bowl at once. Then the dough rests in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then you make the shapes in your hands. That's always my favorite part, relaxing, like playing with play dough.

The recipe doesn't use any rising agent. The secret to success is to use well chilled dough, work fast and put the croissants right away in the oven, on two baking sheets at once. The cold dough will be cracking a bit during the rolling but that's OK. That's why they are so delicate and crunchy. The taste is baby simple, a bit...blah. Not Italian. I won't be eating them by the dozen. And that's a good thing.

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano


100 g (3/4 cup) almonds
250 g (1 2/3 cups) flour
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
10 g (2 teaspoons) vanilla sugar
150 g (10 Tablespoons) butter
1 egg


First, take the skin off the almonds by putting them in hot water for 1 minute. This could be difficult with some almonds, I had to sit down to peel mine...and then I found out that I already had ready almond meal in my pantry. Grind the almonds till fine.

In a mixing bowl of a standing mixer, mix all the ingredients together till a mass of dough forms. Form 1 inch/2.5 cm thick disc, wrap in in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170 C/340 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Take the dough out of the fridge. Tear a piece of it with your fingers and form horse shoe shapes about 1-2 cm/.5-1 inch thick and 10 cm/3 inches long.

Transfer the shapes onto two baking sheets. Place one baking sheet in the top 1/3 of the oven and the other in the lower 1/3. Switch and rotate half way through baking. They should bake for about 20 minutes till slightly golden.

Leave them on the sheets for a minute then transfer onto the cooling rack.

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