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Almond crescent Christmas cookies

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Almond crescent cookies - Christmas cookies, treats, ideas, desserts

Almond crescent shaped cookies …. I’ve been waiting to make them a whole year. One of my most favorite Christmas cookies, even their name – CRESCENT – opens your imagination to something whimsical and winterish, evoking images of Nordic mythology, Lord of the Rings, or simply crescent moon suspended over winter land. I adore crescent shape. By the way, did you know that Crescent means Croissant in French? Yes, the bread roll was named Croissant for its crescent-like shape. I didn’t know that until today. Maybe, I am the only one who did not know that: it never crossed my mind that croissant sounds a lot like crescent. Croissants are worth making, too, if for their crescent shape alone (one more thing to add to my “to-do” list).

Almond crescent cookies

These cookies look giant on these photos, but in reality they are tiny and you could eat each cookie in one bite. Funny how if you put small cookies to occupy all of the space on a small plate or if you take a really close up photo, it makes cookies look tremendous.

It was my husband’s favorite cookie this winter and each time he ate one (well, probably not one but quite a few at a time), he said it brought him back to his childhood when his mom used to bake them a lot.

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Almond crescent cookies

Needless to say, these cookies did not last long, either, just like these didn’t and these didn’t. However, in an improbable case that these cookies did last (which would only be possible if I had a lot of other equally yummy cookies laying around), then they could be kept in airtight container for about a month, and you can also freeze them. Not only pretty and delicious, but very practical cookies indeed.

Almond crescent cookies

Almond crescent cookies

Almond crescent cookies

Almond crescent cookies, shortbread, Christmas cookies, holidays

Almond crescent Christmas cookies

Adapted from NY Times.

Prep time: 40 min

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup blanched, sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, just out of refrigerator
  • 1 and 2/3 cups bleached all-purpose flour, sifted or aerated (see important note below!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (for dusting)

Important note about properly measuring flour using measuring cups:

The proper way to measure flour using measuring cups is to aerate it first. This is done either by sifting flour, or aerating it by fluffing it up and whisking it well, then spooning it into the measuring cup, then carefully removing any excess flour with a knife. If you just stick that measuring cup in the bag of flour and scoop some out, you will get a lot more flour than what the recipe calls for. Do aerate the flour, or you will end up with dry dough!
🙂

1) Put almonds and sugar into food processor and process until almonds are finely ground. Cut cold butter into small pieces and add it to the food processor. Process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

2) Add flour and salt to food processor, process until dough forms, scraping the sides of the food processor bowl with spatula if necessary. And by the way, 1/2 cup white sugar is more than enough for 1 2/3 cups of flour because you will be sprinkling each cookie with powdered sugar in the end.

3) Shape dough as a disk, wrap it in a plastic wrap, put in the freezer for 30 minutes, then in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Or refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.

4) Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit.

5) Divide dough into 4 portions and work with each portion separately, keeping the rest of the dough in the refrigerator to keep it cold. Pinch a portion of the dough and roll it between the palms of your hands in a small ball, then into a small cylinder. When you roll each ball, the cold dough will become more malleable. Form each cylinder into crescent shape with pointed ends.

6) Place each crescent on an ungreased cookie sheet and keep the cookie sheet with crescent shaped cookies in the refrigerator until all cookies are shaped. Also keep the dough in the refrigerator when not using it. It is important to keep cookie dough cold before baking to achieve the right cookie consistency. The cookies will require 2 cookie sheets.

7) Bake for about 12-15 minutes until cookies are set but not brown.

8) Cool cookies on a wire rack. Using sifter, sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar.

making the cookie dough in the food processor

Making the cookie dough in the food processor

wrapping cookie dough in plastic wrap

Shaping cookie dough as a disk and wrapping it in a plastic wrap, then putting it in the freezer for 30 minutes, then refrigerator for 30 minutes

placing crescent shaped cookies on cookie sheet

Placing crescent shaped cookies on cookie sheet

Almond crescent cookies

Cookies are cooled and dusted with powdered sugar

Almond crescent cookies

Almond crescent cookies

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress) December 12, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Ooooh these cookies are so lovely and look so yummy!

    • Julia December 12, 2012, 7:12 pm

      Thank you! They WERE so yummy. All gone now.

  • [email protected] December 12, 2012, 6:21 pm

    Great cookie! I love the shape and the flavor. My mom used to bake something similar when I was a tad, but these look tremendous. Good stuff – thanks.

    • Julia December 12, 2012, 7:13 pm

      They do look tremendous on these photos, didn’t notice that before. They’re actually pretty small – a bite or two, no more.

  • Ashley December 12, 2012, 7:12 pm

    I need to try these – I love anything remotely similar to snowballs : ) Croissants are on my must-try list too… now if only I could find the time!

    • Julia December 12, 2012, 7:14 pm

      They remind me of snowballs too. That’s another thing on my list – snowball-shaped cookies!

  • Hannah December 13, 2012, 7:01 am

    Such a beautiful photo… The cookies of course look fantastic, but that festive scene alone is enough to make me want to turn on the oven right now. I need more holiday cheer, and these cookies would surely provide it!

  • Rosa December 13, 2012, 11:51 am

    Lovely almond crescents! Those cookies are addictive.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • Melanie December 13, 2012, 12:37 pm

    These looks amazing and light (and even better, not too hard to make myself!) Fantastic photos too – love the blue Christmas feel.

  • The Café Sucré Farine December 13, 2012, 4:47 pm

    I’ve always loved these cookies but have never made them myself. Yours are so pretty and bring back great memories of enjoying these as a child!

  • [email protected]'s Recipes December 13, 2012, 10:23 pm

    We call them Vanillekipferl over here, and they are a must-have during the holiday season. Yours look absolutely perfect!

  • Nancy /SpicieFoodie December 14, 2012, 4:57 pm

    What beautiful cookies! They are one of my favorites too. Thanks for sharing.

  • Laura Dembowski December 15, 2012, 9:47 am

    I love all the Christmas cookie recipes I’m seeing out there. These look wonderful. Love the photo without the cookies, just their outline in the sugar. Photography is a very cool and interesting thing. It can really make you believe something is way bigger than it is. I have been doing a lot of jewelry shopping, and I wish it looked like it does on the computer screen in person 😉

    • Julia December 15, 2012, 2:00 pm

      Thank you, Laura. And, you’re right, photography is tricky sometimes and makes things look bigger than they appear. Unless, of course, we’re talking about your giant cookie. 🙂

  • Elizabeth December 23, 2013, 5:41 pm

    Just tried making them and apparently my fridge is too cold 🙁 I had to let them warm up to even pinch any off.

    Other then that, I found when I tried to shape them, they would crumble apart when they were bent, what would have caused this?

    • Julia December 26, 2013, 2:56 pm

      Elizabeth, the most likely reason is using too much flour. When I measure my flour I fluff it up or sift it, so that it’s not packed in a measuring cup. Flour tends to overpack when it’s sitting in a container, and if you just grab it with a measuring cup it will get even more packed in a cup. What I do is I usually use a smaller measuring cup (1/3 cup) as a scooper, fill half of it with flour and then I pour the flour from that measuring cup into the one I am using for actual measurement. That way the flour gets fluffed up and gets some air – it’s very similar to sifting the flour. Most recipes actually call for sifted flour. How do you measure your flour?

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