The rain has stopped, but the sun is hiding.  The house is warm from baking.  There are cardinals in the garden. The note that accompanies the recipe for Viennese Crescents says that when the recipe was first published in the New York Times, “one food authority wrote that it was, in her opinion, the greatest cookie recipe ever devised.”  I read this today, somehow for the first time, after having enjoyed these every Christmas since I was a kid.  I say to myself, “uh-huh,” and reach for my jar of vanilla beans. They are toasted, nutty, fragrant, and really so perfect in their simplicity. The vanilla bean is macerated in the confectioners sugar that they roll in after baking.   They are rich, but delicate and crumbly.  The batter…