These have been served for breakfast at her house every Christmas she can remember. Even when she is not in the USA for the holidays, she still makes them to keep the tradition going.
~Important - they need to sit over night so plan ahead!~
1 package dry yeast (these seem to be the same size in the USA and Germany)
1 cup warm milk
~3 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
cinnamon and sugar are optional
Warm the milk to between 105-115 F. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes, or as long as it takes to start to bubble. This is important because if it does not bubble it means you have killed the yeast (happened to her the first time she tried this year).
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and cut it into the flour mixture. Stop when the butter is about the size of small peas. If you over blend the crescents will not be as tasty.
Beat the egg and then stir it into the milk mixture. Gradually add the mixture to the flour/butter mixture. Mix well but do not mix very hard. The dough will still be sticky when you are finished. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge or somewhere cool (but not freezing) overnight.
THE NEXT DAY..
Remove the dough from the bowl and split it into three equal pieces. Put the other two pieces somewhere cool while you work with the third piece.
Roll out the dough on a floured board and kneed gently. Add more flour if needed. Once the dough is no longer sticky, roll it into a 12 inch circle (we always have used a big plate to cut the dough into a perfect circle). If you would like plain crescents (her and her mom agree they are the best!) leave as is. If you want cinnamon and sugar crescents (loved by her sister and father) spread cinnamon and sugar mix over the dough.
Cut the circle into 12 triangles (hint for those who are confused, first into fourths and then each fourth into thirds). Roll from the outside in, place on a cookie sheet with the thin tip down, and slightly curve to make a crescent shape.
Cover with a damp towel and let rise someplace warm for 30-45 minutes (if you made cinnamon and sugar ones make sure to leave it the full 45 minutes because they take longer to rise). Repeat the entire process with the other two pieces of dough.
When the time is almost up, preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
Bake for 10-15 minutes (the bottom will get slightly brown) and let cool on a wire rack before icing.
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Whisk the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar together. Start with 2 Tbs of milk and add more if needed. The icing should be runny enough to easily spread but not so runny that it gets all over.
Enjoy for breakfast, a snack, or perhaps even dessert. Best with milk, hot chocolate, or coffee.