and countries have wonderful food to celebrate their festivals. In Austria,
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the ubiquitous Vanille Kipferl, the
Vanilla Crescent. Over the years I have been baking tons of the stuff. Hanna,
our first grandchild, helped to bake them as soon as she was old enough to want
to do it. She became really good at it and later taught her brother and
sister the secrets of how to bake the perfect Vanilla Crescent. I have posted the recipe including all the handy tips, as some of my FB friends were interested.
10 oz (300g) plain flour
8 oz (240g) unsalted butter
2 oz (60g) sugar (caster)
4 oz (120g) ground almonds
(buy almonds with brown skin
on and grind with skin – should be ground fairly fine)
Icing Sugar with Vanilla
Sugar, mixed, for coating.
Sift 4 oz of icing sugar into a largish bowl or similar and mix in 1 sachet of Bourbon Vanilla Sugar.
If you have icing sugar which contains pods of vanilla then you can omit the
addition of the sachet.
Rub the butter into
the flour, add the sugar and the ground almonds and work them together into a ball of dough, keeping
the touch light to make sure the dough stays ‘short’. ( This can nowadays be done in a food processor) Take small portions of
this pastry, roll them into a sausage shape about 1" in diameter and cut
the sausage into small pieces. Form each of these small pieces into a crescent
shape, put them onto a baking tray (lightly greased) and bake in a moderate oven for 6 - 7 mins
(maybe a little longer - until they are just turning a biscuit colour - not too
dark). Take them out of the oven and gently take them off the tray immediately with a
slotted metal slice and place them on a wire-rack to cool slightly. (I find it
helps to knock the tray once or twice on the table top to loosen the crescents
if they stick). Place them into the bowl with the vanilla flavoured icing sugar
and coat them completely. Handle them carefully, because they are rather
fragile. Take them out of the icing sugar and place them into a tin. When they
are all in the tin, sift some of the icing sugar over the top. When the
crescents in the tin are completely cold, put on the lid and keep them in a
cool place, away from sunlight (very important)until needed. They keep well for about one to two month
in an airtight container.
On this picture
you can see that Yasmin and Aania have shaped the dough into a sausage and have
cut off small portions to be made into crescents. They then placed them onto a baking tray thus.
When they came
out of the oven (notice the colour – they must not be darker than this) the
girls turned them in the Vanilla icing sugar and placed them into a tin.
When completely cool, the tin will be closed and the crescents stored in a dark, cool place. They improve with time and can be stored for a couple of months at least.
I baked some as
well that day and here are some that I made!
Some photos of
Hanna, Roman and Tabatha making Vanilla Crescents.
It is fun to design Sasha birthday cards for my grandchildren.
They usually have a simple story line,
taking into account what sorts of interests each one of them has. Here are a few:
This one is for Raffay. He loves science and of course, I had to use my Sasha boy 'Raffay' as the model.
Are you ready for the next slide, Dr Rowland? Certainly, Dr Rowland!
Gender equality - always!
I have cheated a little and used the same set up for my other Grandson Roman. He is also into science. This is my Sasha boy 'Roman'. Hoping my two Grandsons won't see each others birthday cards or Grandma will be found out!
This one was last year's birthday card for Raffay. He is a passionate drummer, and really quite good at it. He is giving a demonstration of his skills to some of the Sashas.
One more for Raffay. A two picture card.
Hanna to Raffay: Take your feet off the table, Raffay!
Raffay: What's her problem. Boy, girls are so bossy!
My Granddaughters, on the whole, are quite happy to just have a pretty Sasha on their Birthday Card. This was an exception.I mad it for Hanna, who is already a bit older.
Bathtime for the babies
All clean! Phew!!!
There are many more. I have 5 Grandchildren and they have a birthday once a year!!! This is just a taster!
I keep talking about thinning my Sasha collection. Adopting
some of them out to other nice Sasha people. But I don’t seem to be able to do
it. Somehow, it feels like being disloyal to my Sasha kids. So, instead of the numbers
getting fewer, they seem to be increasing. I never set out to buy another Sasha,
but then one comes along and I am smitten. So here are a few of my newer Sasha
This is Ashling, a 1969 Trendon Side-part.
Such a sweet girl. She is wearing a dress by
Dollydoodles. Shoes by Sashapotomus.
Next up is Kalaya, Kally for short. She is a 1968 Dungarees
Girl. I have tried various outfits on her to find out what suits her. I like her best in the Gillian Nash Sweater
Dress, but I think she looks good in casual clothes, too. The dungarees are from A Passion for Sasha. The Birkenstocks from Marti Sanders Murphy.
I love the Kilties (Limited Edition 80s Trendon Sashas, with
real hair wig). When Linda Simpson put up her gorgeous Kiltie for adoption, I
just could not help myself. Her name is April. She is wearing a Marilyn Hotchkiss dress.
I have a great fondness for the babies. A couple have been
added recently. Another Trendon honeyblonde, named Honey and a Götz boy, called
My most recent addition is a 1969 Trendon Kilt, called Kate. Skirt by Stela Aranghelova, cardigan by Diane Duke, shoes Lisa Hartley.
This girl is not a new addition, but a re-paint by Janet
Myhill Dabbs. She made over my Kiltie ‘Tagan’ into a ‘Gertie’. Most of you will
have seen examples of her famous ‘Gerties’. They have such sweet expressions,
but it is not just the face that makes a Gertie, it is the whole ensemble.
Gertie is a bit of a waif. A really cute child. Here is mine. The first two photographs were taken by Janet. The gorgeous eye painting is particularly obvious in the second photo.