On your vanilla horns, get set, go! Oma Greti’s vanilla horns

The pre-Christmas period is a magical time reminiscent of our childhood. The anticipation of a reflective Christmas festival enables us to endure the hustle and bustle which Advent brings with it more easily. The reward for this hectic period is sparkling children’s eyes, reflecting the magic of this time like nothing else can.
We always celebrate Advent Sundays in our house. There’s a warm fire burning, fruity children’s punch for everyone and of course home-baked Christmas biscuits. My son is a mere 4 years old, but at the beginning of November, when the days are slowly but surely getting shorter, he’s looking forward to baking biscuits with his great-grandma. This young man knows exactly what he wants, his absolute favourites are vanilla horns or “vanilla sticks” as Tobias, my son, lovingly describes his creations. Why? You’ll find out later on. ??
The classic biscuits made from almond shortcrust pastry are not to be missed in our biscuit selection during Advent, but they’re not so easy to make as you might think. Sometimes they crumble when you form them, sometimes they crumble when you toss them in icing sugar/vanilla sugar mixture. I know these situations all too well and have quite often lost the desire to bake. I’ve also tried out many a vanilla horn recipe: with eggs and without eggs, with butter and with margarine, with nuts or without nuts entirely… There are so many different recipes for these classic biscuits, none of which are as good as my grandmas. This year there’s no more experimentation, as I’ll give you my grandma’s (not quite so) secret vanilla horn recipe. ??

So, here’s the recipe for grandma Greti’s vanilla horns and a few tips so that your horns turn out perfectly: Tips:

  • Use real butter and not margarine
  • Don’t use eggs – the vanilla horns should be crumbly and melt on your tongue
  • All ingredients should be kept as cool as possible: use cold butter, work quicky and wrap the dough that in clingfilm straightaway and put it back in the fridge
  • Maximum baking time is 10-12 minutes at a temperature of 170°C – the horns are still a little bit soft, but the butter hardens afterwards

Chop the butter into small pieces with a knife and place on the flour. Mix and knead the mixture well. Afterwards add the almonds and icing sugar and knead the whole mass well and form a ball.

If the dough has become too warm, you can put it back in the fridge for a bit.

When the dough is the correct temperature you can cut pieces, which you then form into horns – the rest of the dough can be left in the fridge, hallway, balcony – wherever it’s not too hot.

For the perfect horn shape, roll out the dough in to a 2 cm thick snake and cut off around 3 cm long pieces and form them quickly on the work surface or with your hands into horns.

Don’t worry if they don’t all look perfect – it’s important that they taste good. 😊 That’s what Tobias thinks too and prefers to shape quick and simple “vanilla sticks“, that way he’s finished quicker and the biscuits land faster in his mouth. 😉

Bake the vanilla horns (or vanilla sticks 😊) in a pre-heated oven at a temperature of approx. 170°C (fan-assisted oven) for 10-12 minutes.

Not for too long, as they darken afterwards. When they’ve cooled down, mix some icing sugar with lots of vanilla sugar and sieve over the lukewarm horns.

When they’ve cooled down completely, you can put them carefully in a biscuit tin or hand them out over the kitchen table to munch straightaway.

I wish you happy baking! If you do bake this recipe then share your “perfect vanilla horns moment” with us. #bloghuetteAll chocolate lovers can find a delicious biscuit recipe for in our Blog Hut: Creamy sweet chocolate treasures.

Bildnachweis: Julia Winter