Viennese Kupferlin (Almond Crescent Cookies)
Food author Joan Nathan worked for Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek in the 1970s. She writes of his wife: “For all the years I have known Tamar Kollek, her signature dish has been kupferlin. This stirrup-shaped almond butter cookie, which she learned to make in her native Vienna, was always served when guests came to the Kolleks’ apartment in Jerusalem. The difference between her cookies in the early years in Israel and her mother’s in Vienna was the use of the cheaper margarine instead of butter. I prefer the flavor of butter.”
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or pareve margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup very finely ground unblanched almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Put the butter or margarine and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the almonds, almond extract and then the flour and salt, using your fingers to mix the ingredients together until you have a soft dough. (You can also make the dough in a food processor fitted with a steel blade; first blend the butter and sugar to cream, then pulse as you add the dry ingredients, taking care not to overmix.)
Take a piece of dough the size of a plum and roll it into a 2-inch-long tube. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Shape each piece into a crescent, and press the ends flat.
Place the cookies, close to each other but not touching, on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake them for 40 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. The cookies should be white in color, not even slightly golden. Remove them from the oven, let them stand for a few minutes, and, while they are still warm, sprinkle them with additional sugar. Makes 5 dozen cookies.
Source: Pittsburgh, PA Post-Gazette newspaper, November 17, 2002, Recipe from “The Foods of Israel Today” by Joan Nathan