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Recipe - In the Shadow of Leaves
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Almond-Vanilla Crescents

Delicate, crescent-shaped butter biscuits, an Austrian specialty. Substitute toasted and finely ground hazelnuts for the almonds if you want to try something different.
[NOTE: This is written in American. I will have to check what, say, 350F is in C, how much a stick of butter is, and check if the standard US cup is the same as an Australian cup.]

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 12 minutes
Yield: 2-1/2 dozen

    1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup finely ground almonds
    1/3 cup superfine sugar
    Pinch of salt
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
    2 egg yolks
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Icing sugar for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a biscuit tray with greaseproof paper.

In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt. Pulse briefly to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse until the butter is cut into very tiny pieces, about 15 to 20 pulses.

(To use a mixer and mixing bowl, soften the butter to room temperature. Beat the butter in the mixing bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, and cream together well. Combine the flour, ground almonds, and salt. Add to the butter mixture in four stages, blending well after each addition.)

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla and add to the flour mixture. Process or mix until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute.

Pinch off walnut-size pieces and roll on a lightly floured surface into 8mm-thick ropes about 10 cm long. Bend the ropes into crescent shapes and place them on the biscuit tray, leaving 5 cm between them.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden and set. Remove the biscuit sheet from the oven and transfer the biscuits to racks to cool. Dust the crescents heavily with icing sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Freeze for longer storage.

Per serving: Calories 86 (From Fat 53); Fat 6g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 22mg; Sodium 6mg; Carbohydrate 7g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 2g.
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