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CRESCENT COOKIESA visit to Aunt Bobbie’s house always meant there would be a plateful of her yummy cookies on the kitchen counter. These crunchy cookies are packed full of finely ground pecans (I like to grind them in a food processor), while the butter and vanilla give them a rich flavor that is made even more delicious with the nice coating of confectioners’ sugar. These pretty cookies are perfect for a shower or luncheon dessert. The recipe is easily doubled and the dough freezes nicely, too.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room
  • temperature, plus more for greasing the pans (or use nonstick cooking spray)
  • temperature, plus more for greasing the pans (or use nonstick cooking spray)
  • 0.125 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 2½ cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more
  • for rolling
How to Make It
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-low speed until just combined, increase speed to high, and beat until smooth and creamy, 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, cinnamon (if using), and ground pecans. Beat on low speed just to combine.
  2. Scrape down the sides and around the bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1 minute. Add the flour and beat on low speed until completely blended. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two rimmed baking sheets with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  4. With lightly floured hands, pinch off about 2 heaping teaspoons of dough, roll it into a log, then bend the dough slightly to form a crescent shape. Each one should be about 4 inches long and ¾ inch in diameter. Repeat with the remaining dough and put them on the prepared baking sheet 1 to 1½ inches apart.
  5. Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes. While still warm, roll the cookies in confectioners’ sugar for the best coverage. Let cool completely on a wire rack with parchment or wax paper underneath to catch the confectioners’ sugar that comes off the cookies. You can sprinkle it back over the cookies once they are in a container.
  6. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. If the cookies last longer than a day or two, they will need more confectioners’ sugar sifted over them, as it tends to dissolve into the moist cookie.
  7. Variation CHOCOLATE-DIPPED CRESCENTS Omit the confectioners’ sugar and drizzle these cookies with Chocolate Ganache (this page), or dip the ends into the ganache first and then into finely chopped pecans.

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