Almond Crescent Cookies

This week’s Christmas cookie is presented to you by guest author Garrett McCord. ~Elise

When I was a child my parents hated me enough to put me into a table manners class called Ms. Etiquette. I learned to say please and thank you, how to identify nine types of forks, and all of it culminated in a High Tea final exam. The tea party was boring as heck, but there were these delicious little almond crescent cookies.

Almond crescents are a very basic tea cookie recipe. They’re very buttery with a pronounced almond flavor. Matched with a cup of Earl Grey or Almond Rocker they’re a great excuse to call over friends on a rainy day for a small tea party of your own.

Almond Crescent Cookies Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of almond flour (can substitute ground almonds*)
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar for sprinkling

*You can use slivered, blanched almonds and grind them up, but you will have a very crumbly, hard to work with dough. It’ll still taste good though.

Method

1 Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the extracts and mix.

2 Add the flour and almond flour. Mix thoroughly.

3 Take generous tablespoons of the dough (it will be slightly crumbly) and roll it into a small ball, about an inch in diameter, and then shape into a crescent shape. Place onto parchment paper and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until a light golden brown.

4 Dust with powdered sugar.

For added decadence let the cookies cool and dip one end of them into some melted chocolate, then let the chocolate harden.

almond-crescents-1.jpg

46 Comments

  1. carol

    Qué buenas! Se parecen a los “cuernos de gacela” de la pastelería árabe, que también se hacen con almendras. I love your blog, Elise.

    For those who do not speak Spanish, Babel Fish translates this as, “How good! They look like the “horns of gacela” at the Arab pastry shop, which also use almonds.” ~Garrett

  2. Susan from Food Blogga

    I like the combination of vanilla and almond extract in these cookies. And with the dusting of powdered sugar, they are so seasonally festive. Now, what I’d really like to know is: what do you do with fork #7? ;)

  3. Jeanette

    My mother-in-law emigrated to Canada from Hungary. These are a very popular cookie over there and she gave me the recipe and I make them now too. They melt in your mouth.

  4. Jessica

    Mmm, this sounds much like my great-grandmother’s Vanilla Kipfels recipe that she brought with her from Vienna so many years ago. Mmm. Time to make some!

  5. Espahan

    I make these every year for the holidays. My family insists on it. What is almond flour? I’ve never heard of it. The combination of vanilla/almond flavoring sounds good. I think I got my original recipe from an old paperback edition of Fanny Farmer.

    Almond flour is a flour made from almonds ground into a powder, the way wheat is ground into regular flour. ~Garrett

  6. jonathan

    Another example of how a few simple ingredients and a straightforward preparation can result in culinary bliss.

    And as I now know you’re well-versed in the finer points of etiquette, Garrett…

    May I have mine with coffee instead of tea?

    Please?

    (Whoops. Almost forgot the “please”. That was close.)

  7. Rosie

    I made these yesterday and I think I must have made a mistake. Once they were baked, you could still taste raw flour – like there was too much flour for the butter, flavorings and sugar to flavour properly. They kinda tasted like they needed an egg. What did I do wrong? I love almond and was really looking forward to these.

    You may not have mixed the dough thuroughly enough, which is the only thing I can think of. We made this recipe a few times with no real issues in flavor. The dough can be a bit crumbly, so unless you really mix it well, some of the flour or almond flour may not get fully incoporated. ~Garrett

  8. Katy

    These look just like a greek cookie (kourabiedes) that we’ve had at every holiday since I was a baby! Now that my grandmother isn’t making them anymore, maybe it’s time for me to give them a try! We usually douse them with so much confectioner’s sugar that you can barely even see the dough. :-) Yum!

  9. Kristalina

    Thank you Elise for sharing this wonderful recipe. I am a reader of Garrett’s blog! He has a unique collection of cupcakes recipes!

    I wish you and your family very happy Christmas and new year.

  10. Allyn

    These cookies are delicious. I have had them in years past but have never found a recipe for them so I could make them myself – I look very forward to sharing these with my family for Christmas. Thanks for posting this, I’m excited to try it out!

  11. kwokie

    I made these last night. I did find the dough to be quite crumbly, but to my surprise the cookies didn’t fall apart after baking. I ended up with 3 1/2 dozen though, so I wasn’t sure how long to bake them, and they weren’t turning golden. I ended up giving them about 15 min. Today they are a bit on the crunchy side – though still tasty – and I’m wondering if they were supposed to be soft like Mexican Wedding Cakes? Also, next time I would reduce the almond extract to 1/2 tsp. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Sara

    This is very similar like my family’s recipe for Kipfel, which comes from my German grandmother! We roll our warm cookies in granulated sugar and I much prefer the flavor and texture. Powdered sugar can be overwhelming. These need to be baked very lightly to preserve their delicate texture. Mmmm puts me in the mood for Christmas!

  13. johanna

    These are traditional cookies in Austria and the only recipe my dad will make… he rolls the thinnest most delicate vanilla crescents you can imagine and since he’s been in hospital for the last three weeks, he won’t be making any this year… how am I going to survive the christmas season without them???

  14. chloe

    Can you buy almond flour in any supermarket?
    I’m planning on making this to give out to some friends. I’m a horrible baker…especially with cookies. I hope these turn out well. The picture looks so good.

    Some places do, some don’t. Call stores ahead of time to save yourself some time. ~Garrett

  15. Jessica

    My boyfriend and I loved these! I’m more of a soft and chewy cookie person, but it was great to try something new that turned out so well. Thanks!

  16. chloe

    I just made these today and they taste really good. My dough was really crumbly so I couldn’t shape it very well but they still turned out good.

    I packed them in one of those ziplock plastic containers and I’m going to give them to my friends tomorrow. Will the cookies still have that crispness to them tomorrow and taste fresh?
    I’m worried that they’ll lose the cripsness and turn kind of soft.

  17. steve

    For this recipe almond flour is not needed. Just buy slivered almonds and get a cheap coffee grinder from Wal-mart (about 5-6 bucks) and use it to grind the almonds into a fine powder.

    I tried this recipe with walnuts instead of almonds and they were actually better than the almond ones. The walnuts tend to be slightly oily when ground up but that prevents the dough from being crumbly. Although I did use walnuts I still used the almond extract.

    I like to take a few of these and warm them up slightly, drizzle a little Amaretto Di Saronno over them, and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Yum!!!

  18. karli

    This is a funny recipe. I just made cookies very similar to these, but they actually have a lot of almonds in them. They are our Mexican wedding cookies, which we call almond crescent moons. instead of using the vanilla extract, we use vanillin zukar (a little German packet of vanilla sugar, which is the best on cream of wheat) and I want to say that we use a cup of ground almonds, but I cannot seem to remember the measurement. Wonderful recipe!!

  19. Ben-David

    Another variation is to use marzipan instead of ground almonds. You can usually omit the almond extract since the marzipan contains bitter almonds in it.

    You do have to cut back on the sugar to compensate for the syrup in the marzipan.

    But the result is a very smooth-textured, intensely almond-flavored shortbread cookie.

    I also do this with my plain butter cake – swapping out some of the sugar and butter, and adding marzipan. Nice silky texture.

  20. Cindy

    Please tell me if these are the same thing my sister makes and calls “Mexican Crescents”. They look the same but she won’t tell what her secret recipe is for them. I promise not to tell her if you will tell me.

    Thank you.

    I do believe these go by that name as well. ~Garrett

  21. Jen

    I just made these last night, and how wonderful they were! Light, buttery, and perfect. I’m planning on making a bunch of these and giving them as gifts. Do you think they would be alright to freeze?

    They should freeze just fine in an air-tight container. ~Garrett

  22. Janie Owen

    Since I was a little girl my aunt in Greece made these cookies during holidays and special occasions.
    They are called Kourabiedes. They are light slightly crumbly and snow white even when baked.
    I am now 67 years old and still on my favorite list of cookies.
    Mmmmmm, good.

    Janie

  23. Kathy

    I used shortening instead of butter and the dough was moist and not crumbly. The cookies were incredible and absolutely melt in your mouth :)
    Great recipe!

  24. Kelly

    I totally agree with the very first comment about these resembling Greek Kourambiedes…they are absolutely delicious and simple to make. I’ve made them twice and both times used ground almonds in the dough. Elise, your blog is wonderful. Thanks for all your posts.

  25. foxspirit

    Made these last night. Kind of kneaded the dough a little to make sure everything incorporated then try to make crescents. I make ugly crescents. I gave up. Use a little cookie cutter, rolled out the dough, and cut wee teddy bears instead. Way easier and still delicious.

  26. anj

    I did this but they came out flat and it burnt when I left it in there for 15 mins. What am I doing wrong?

    The dough might be getting too warm in your hands when you shape them. Try chilling the shaped dough a bit before baking. As for the burning, check your oven temperature as it may be running hotter than otherwise displayed. Keep an eye on your cookies and if they look done take them out. ~Garrett

  27. Scarlet

    I was planning on making these come Christmas time and I’m now starting to wonder if I might be able to ship them to family as well.

    Would they last long enough to ship?

    How would I want to pack them for shipping?

    Thanks!

    They should, try to do overnight so they arrive fresh. As for packing them just use some paper towels to cushion them in a canister. ~Garrett

  28. li

    I just made these. At the dough stage, it wasn’t crumbly.. it was quite moist. I tried adding a tad more flour, and then, a tad more ground almond, but it was still moist, so I decided to leave it as is. Could the reason be the type or brand of butter I used? I used salted creamery butter. The cookies came out soft, chewy and flat. Taste wise, I absolutely love it!

    I’m not sure why they came out that way. The butter might have become too warm is my best guess. ~Garrett

  29. Pamella

    These are a must for christmas. The only problem is once you start eating them you can’t stop. I add 1/2 cup more butter to the recipe as I find this makes it much easier to mold the crescents. I also rolled them in to balls and made small moons to go with the crescents. Actually I found you could taste the ground almonds better. I used the lactania butter Garrett. I am able to get 75 cookies out of a batch.

  30. Barbara

    I followed the recipe using Trader Joe’s almond meal, but the mixture was too crumbly so I added 1/2 cup more butter and about 1 Tbsp milk. The dough was softer, easy to shape, and after 20 minutes the cookies were light brown and delicious. My grandson loved dipping them in melted chocolate!

  31. ana

    I added 1/2 cup more butter and about 1 Tbsp milk. The dough was softer, easy to shape, and after 20 minutes the cookies were light brown and delicious. My grandson loved it.

  32. Krystle

    I’ve made these cookies twice now (once for my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, half-dipped in chocolate), and once for my daughter and I (no chocolate). I like them better without chocolate, and I learned the second time to really make sure the butter was at room temperature – it was still a little chilled the first time, and the dough was really crumbly and difficult to shape. It was much better the second time. Thanks!

  33. Erica

    I made these last night on a whim…and they reminded me of my grandmother’s almond crescent cookies she used to make years ago! I didn’t have almond flour, or even almonds, but I threw pecans into a food processor and used them instead. With the almond extract, you would never know that the little specks of nuts aren’t almonds. These cookies were delicious, a hit in my house, and the recipe will be going into our notebook of “winners”. Thanks so much!

  34. Gaby

    I have just started using your website. First attempt was peanut butter cookies, then came benne wafers, nutella chocolate cookies and today my family is enjoying the almond crescent cookies. I served them in our Christmas cookie platter with sugar drizzled all over, in dubai with 45 degrees, AC on 17, thinking of christmas.
    This Christmas your cookies will be served with mulled wine at our home!
    Thanks for the great website. Your recipes are just the way I like to cook, simple with hearty flavors and passion!

  35. Susan

    Just made these cookies. After reading some reviews, I decided to add a little shortening, not even 1/4 c to avoid crumbly dough. It worked great! Also, I discovered I didn’t have almond extract, so I used Amaretto liqueur. I ground the almonds in my food processor as I didn’t have almond flour, either. Thanks for the recipe!

  36. Rachel Kriger

    I have a question regarding the dough. I followed a different recipe that called to chill the dough for an hour. Well I ended up chilling the dough overnight and now it is too hard to separate. Any suggestions on what to do or is the dough ruined? Please help and thank you.

    Just let it thaw a bit and you should be fine. ~Garrett

  37. Mona H

    Sorry, but these turned out hard as bricks and the taste was not as buttery as it should be. I did everything according to the recipe.

  38. Andrea

    I made these cookies for my dad for Christmas-they tasted exactly as we remember them from Germany! I used my Kitchenaid, and the dough came out very smooth. I also used a coffee grinder to grind whole almonds, which worked fine. I shape the dough on parchment paper and put it out in the cold garage until each batch is through (or keep the metal bowl in the refrigerator between batches) helps the cookies to keep their shape! Thanks for sharing!

  39. Terri Pray

    I vaguely remember baking something like this back in England, only those had lemon as well as almond. Now I’m going to have to ask my Mum to hunt down that recipe for me.

    The lemon variation were extremely addictive!

    But I’m looking forward to trying this version when time permits.

  40. Jen

    I mixed the 1/4 cup confectioners sugar with finely chopped almonds, using a whisk to mix is very beneficial. Then I scoop out the dough, roll lightly in the mixture and then form into crescent shapes. So far my most favorite Christmas cookie yet!

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.