Sweet Cookies

Almond Crescents

Buttery and delicate, these melt-in-your-mouth almond crescents are a wonderful holiday treat.

A few years ago I attended my first Pittsburgh wedding. It followed all of the usual American wedding traditions — the ceremony at a church, the reception at a different venue, and a delicious meal followed by cake and dancing. One new and exciting tradition was a large table at the reception laden with a variety of cookies – including almond crescents. All of the guests were invited to snack on cookies throughout the reception, and to take home a few cookies using provided to-go boxes. It was fantastic!

In addition to learning about this fascinating local tradition, that wedding was my first ever opportunity to taste an almond crescent. Somehow, I had gone the first two decades of my life without ever trying one of these delightful, buttery creations. My husband beseeched me to fill our to-go box with several of these cookies, and I am so glad he did.

Jump to Recipe

Many people consider almond crescents a Christmas cookie, but you could make these any time of year without hearing complaints. (Unless someone has a nut allergy – these cookies are great, but not worth an allergic reaction.) My husband’s family traditionally uses the almond crescent recipe originally by Betty Crocker, which I have slightly adapted below.

Several almond crescent cookies sit evenly spaced on a flat surface; all have recently been dusted with powdered sugar.

Ingredients

For the almond crescent cookies themselves, you will need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ⅔ c ground almonds
  • 1 ⅔ c all-purpose flour
  • ¼ t salt

As you might have guessed, we will dust the top of our almond crescents with powdered sugar…but first, we’ll add a secret ingredient. An optional pinch of cinnamon added to the dusting powdered sugar lends a hint of flavor that our family has come to love.

How to make almond crescents

Start be preparing your almonds. If using sliced almonds, scoop a scant ⅔ cup of almonds into your blender or food processor. Three, five-second pulses should macerate your almonds to the correct texture. If you already have almond meal or almond flour, it will work fine.

Next, using your favorite type of electric mixer, cream together your butter and sugar.

Mix in almond and vanilla extracts before adding the ground almonds.

Work in your flour and salt. At this point, the dough should be soft and just slightly more crumbly than most cookie doughs.

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a 12-inch long tube. Wrap in plastic (or your favorite eco-friendly alternative) and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

This almond crescent recipe calls for the dough to be formed into a long tube before being refrigerated. In this photo, the almond crescent dough has been formed into a foot-long tube and lays on a sheet of plastic wrap. You can see a wooden table surface beneath the plastic wrap.

This is where things get fun. As you remove your log from the refrigerator, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Cut your dough log into one-inch pieces.

Roll each one-inch piece into a 3-to-4 inch long “snake”, then form each snake into a crescent. This may get tricky, as the dough can be a bit crumbly. If the final shape isn’t important to you, it’s okay if the crescent breaks in half – the true goal here is consistency in size and shape, so that your cookies bake evenly.

Place the crescents on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat the crescent-forming procedure with the other half of your dough.

Bake your almond crescent cookies for 14-16 minutes or until set. Do not overbake; if they are brown, they have been in the oven too long! Allow crescents to cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wax paper or a cooling rack.

While the cookies are baking, combine powdered sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture over the cooling cookies. When your almond crescent cookies have cooled completely, you may also roll them in the powdered sugar mixture. Be careful not to try this method while the almond crescent cookies are warm, as they may fall apart.

These almond crescents - arranged in concentric circles on a red plate rimmed with pine boughs - are gluten free Christmas cookies

If you’re looking to bake more tiny, melt-in-your mouth Christmas cookies, I highly recommend you try my recipe for alfajores – a South American sandwich cookie that is filled with dulce de leche.

I hope you enjoy this almond crescent recipe! Feel free to tag any social media photos with @WhiskAverseBaking, or to leave a message in the comments below. You can also click “Pin Recipe” to save these cookies for a later date.

Almond Crescents

Buttery and delicate, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are a wonderful holiday treat.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Refrigerator Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies

Ingredients
  

Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • c ground almonds
  • 1 ⅔ c all-purpose flour (can substitute 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour)
  • ¼ t salt

Topping

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • If using sliced almonds, scoop a scant ⅔ cup of almonds into your blender or food processor. Three 5-second pulses should macerate your almonds to the correct texture.
  • Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in almond and vanilla extracts before mixing in ground almonds. Work in flour and salt.
  • Divide dough in half and form into approximately 12-inch long tubes. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove one dough log from refrigerator and cut it into one-inch pieces.
  • Roll each one-inch piece into a 3-4 inch long “snake”, then form each snake into a crescent.
  • Place crescents on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat crescent-forming procedure with the other half of your dough.
  • Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until set. Do not overbake. Allow crescents to cool on pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wax paper or a cooling rack.
  • While the cookies are baking, combine confectioners sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture over the cooling cookies.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely before eating.
Keyword almond, christmas cookies, cookies

1 comment on “Almond Crescents

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