These biscuits have been a Christmas family favorite for 20 years. Flaky and buttery, they are hazelnut flavoured and sprinkled with vanilla sugar. Yum! Prep time includes one hour of chilling the dough in the fridge.
2 cups plain flour
250g butter, softened
1 cup (125g) ground hazelnuts
½ cup (90g) sifted icing sugar
generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
for the vanilla sugar
300g sifted icing sugar
1 vanilla bean
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In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, hazelnuts, the ½ cup of icing sugar, salt and vanilla essence. Hand mix until thoroughly blended. Shape dough into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the vanilla sugar, place the 300g of icing sugar in a bowl or small container. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds and mix them into the sugar. Cut the pod into 4 cm pieces and mix into sugar. Set aside.
Remove dough from refrigerator and form into 2.5cm balls. Roll each ball into a small roll, 7cm long. Place rolls 5cm apart on ungreased baking sheet, and bend each one to make a crescent shape.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set but not brown.
Let cool a couple of minutes, then remove from baking sheets. Place hot biscuits on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Sift out the vanilla pieces from the sugar then sprinkle the crescents with prepared sugar mixture. Turn gently to coat on both sides. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Just before serving, coat with more vanilla flavored sugar.
Chocolate dipped crescents
Melt 300g dark chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Dip one half of the crescents into the chocolate, twist and drain the biscuit then place on a wire rack. Put them in the fridge to set. Sprinkle with extra vanilla sugar just before serving.