- 5 ounces (1 cup) walnuts
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 16 tablespoons (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar, for dusting (see note)
Finely grind walnuts in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and mix with flour and sugar. Cut in butter, egg yolks and vanilla; knead until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap and chill dough for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working in batches, roll dough into logs about 3/4-inch-thick; divide into 48 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth sausage shape; gently taper the ends and bend into a crescent. Place cookies 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake until lightly golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Dust crescents with powdered sugar while still warm.
For a more authentic vanillekipferl, make your own vanilla sugar for dusting. Scrape seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean into 2 cups granulated sugar. Bury bean husk in sugar in a glass jar and tightly seal. Let sit 1 to 2 weeks before using.