Almond Crescent Cookies, a must make melt in your mouth, shortbread type Christmas Cookie. Fast, easy and the perfect addition to your Cookie Tray. They will be the first to go!
It’s already October and that means, you can start baking Christmas Cookies! I like to get my cookies made and in the freezer. And yes these Almond Crescent Cookies which she always called Viennese Crescents, are another Delicious Christmas Cookie Recipe thanks to my Mom.
Every year without fail she would bake up Whipped Shortbread (sometimes she would add chopped nuts instead of chocolate chips), Classic Shortbread, Hello Dollies (or also known as 7 layer bars).
And my own personal favourite, Coconut Jam Squares, these are an amazing bar cookie. I could eat a whole pan of those ! And of course these yummy melt in your mouth Crescent Cookies.
- Butter – softened, I use salted butter
- Sugar – granulated or fine sugar
- Nuts – almonds, cashews, walnuts or even hazelnuts, toasting the nuts first makes them more flavorful
- Flour – all purpose flour
- Powdered sugar – also known as icing or confectioners sugar
How to Roast Nuts
Place nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking / cookie sheet. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until they are golden brown, remove immediately from pan to cool.
How to make Almond Crescent Cookies
In a large bowl beat butter until fluffy, add sugar and beat again until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add nuts, flour and salt. Beat on low until combined.
Bring dough together with your fingers. Break off small pieces and form into a crescent shape. Place on un-greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes . While cookies are still warm roll in icing/powdered sugar or let cool and dust with icing sugar.
How to keep cookies from spreading
To keep the cookies from spreading it is best to beat the butter and sugar just until combined and not creamed (of course this also depends on the type of cookie), for some cookies including some icing sugar in the mixture also keeps the cookies from spreading.
And probably most important of all, is to use a higher protein flour with at least 11.5- 12% protein count.
And don’t forget to chill the dough for at least 1 hour and again the cut out cookies before baking while the oven is pre-heating. Using most of these will help produce the perfect Christmas Cookies.
Tips for making the best Crescent Cookies
- Remember do not ground the nuts to a powder, they should be chopped into very small bits. Place the nuts in a plastic bag and smash them with a rolling pin, this works well.
- Please note the amount of flour – 2 1/2 cups worked for me but it seems to be too much for most. So please start with 2 – 2 1/4 cups and if the dough seems too wet add a tablespoon (up to 4-8) at a time if needed. If you do find the dough dry work some soft butter into the dough to soften it up.
- If you prefer you can make these cookies into Pecan crescent cookies, substitute almonds with pecans or even hazelnuts or walnuts.
How to store the cookies
The cookies should be stored in an airtight container, they will keep for up to 3-4 days at room temperature or for up to 7-10 days in the fridge.
How to freeze Almond Crescent Cookies
To freeze the baked cookies, place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze the cookies until completely firm approximately 1-2 hours.
Once the cookies are frozen, then place them in a freezer safe bag or container. They will keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. They can be thawed on the counter.
You can also freeze the cookie dough, form the dough into a log or round ball, wrap well in plastic, place in a freezer safe bag. The dough will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
If you wish you can form the crescents, place on a cookie sheet and freeze until firm then move them to a freezer safe container, in a single layer separated with parchment paper. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer, and they can be baked from frozen. They may take a minute or 2 longer to bake.
If you can keep from eating them all, you can also freeze them until Christmas. They make a delicious Cookie gift idea. And if you can’t wait for Christmas that’s ok too!
If you have never tried Almond Viennese Cookies then I am telling you these are a must try. Happy Baking. Enjoy!
More Christmas Cookies
- Split Second Cookies
- Easy Chocolate Chip Whipped Shortbread
- White Chocolate Almond Bars
- Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Almond Crescent Cookies
- 1 cup butter* softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh almonds, walnuts or pecans
- 2 -2 1/2 cups all purpose flour ** (if you are in Italy substitute all purpose with Manitoba Flour)
*I use salted butter, if you use unsalted then add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Be sure to use a good quality butter, apparently this year 2022, store brand butter quality is not what it used to be. Less fat could mean a dry not so tasty cookie.
**If you are in Italy then substitute 00 with Manitoba Flour. Flour should have at least 11.5% protein.
- ¼-⅓ cup powdered/icing sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl beat the butter until fluffy approximately 2 minutes, add the sugar and beat again for 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the nuts, salt and the flour, start with 2 cups and add a tablespoon at a time if needed up to 8 tablespoons. Beat on low until combined.
- Bring the dough together with your fingers. Dough should not be dry or wet, but should hold together firmly when formed. Break off small pieces and form into a crescent shape. Place on the prepared baking sheets and bake for approximately 13-15 minutes . While the cookies are still warm roll in icing/powdered sugar or let cool and dust with icing sugar. Enjoy!
Updated November 16, 2016.
Donna DeRossette says
I make these every year to give to family and friends at Christmas. I use my homemade vanilla extract. Very easy to make, it just takes about 6 months to develop a nice deep vanilla aroma/flavor. Vodka and vanilla beans are all you need. You don’t even need top shelf vodka or grade A beans.
Hi Donna, thanks and yes I should start making my own also. I go through so much. Take care!
I’ve made these cookies every Christmas for a few years now. My family and friends love them. Thank You! I like to add a half tsp of vanilla extract and almond extract each and reduce sugar to 120g.
Hi NH, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed them. Take care and Happy New Year!
Ann P says
My cookies consistently ‘broke’ apart when baking and didn’t really looked baked when I took them out of the oven – they were soft and pliable. My oven temp is accurate, what did I do wrong? 😞
Hi Ann, I did make a note about butter this year, that it isn’t the same quality it used to be, it’s not as much fat in it, which makes the dough dryer and crumblier. You should use a good quality name brand. Hope that helps. Take care.
I chilled the dough for an hour and a half and now it is as hard as a rock. I didn’t freeze it. It was in the refrigerator. Do I now wait an hour or more for it to get soft? I don’t have time for that since I was going to make the cookies to bring over to my family for Christmas. I don’t understand why we would need to chill the dough if this is what happens.
Hi Maryann, the instructions don’t say to chill the dough, I don’t know why you did. Let me know.
Can I substitute almond flour 1:1 ?
Hi Charlie, I have never made it with just almond flour, I really don’t know how they would come out. 🙂
Vanilla or almond extract? Thanks
Hi Ly, you could use either, I would say a teaspoon would be good. Let me know how it goes. Take care!
Helen Mastrangelo says
found this recipe to be quick and easy.
Hi Helen, thanks so much, glad you liked it. Take care!
Why isn’t there any starch in this recipe as there are in your others? It makes a difference. If so how much can I add?
Hi Joy, I can’t tell you how much to add because this recipe doesn’t have any, and it really depends on the cookie. This was my Mom’s recipe and I can tell you it really doesn’t need cornstarch. 🙂
Linda G. says
Can I make the. In a ball instead of a crescent. Crescents seem more delicate and more likely to break.
Hi Linda, sure that would work. I hope you enjoy them. Take care!
Can you make these ahead of time and freeze them? If so how long?
Hi Kristen, yes you can, you can freeze either the dough or the shaped cookies (be sure to freeze them on a cookie sheet until they are firm, then move to a freezer safe container, in a single layer separated with parchment paper. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Then bake from frozen. They may take a minute or 2 longer to bake. Hope that helps. Take care.
Our family’s favorite Christmas cookie recipe!
Thanks so much Christa, glad you all like it. Take care.
I tried to make these cookies gluten free with tapioca flour and it didn’t work out well. Can you advise of a GF option.
Hi Joann, I really don’t have any idea on using gf flour, I don’t bake with it. Have you tried a GF all purpose flour? a lot of brands sell them (eg. Bob’s Red Mill)
Mary Kaldahl says
I used Pillsbury GF all-purpose flour for my rollout sugar cookies recently, and the dough held together nicely, so I think
it should work well with this almond crescent cookie recipe. Good luck! Mary K. from NC