These almond crescent cookies are a buttery, melt-in-your mouth shortbread-esque cookie with a delicious almond flavor. Dusted with powdered sugar, they’re perfect for your Christmas cookie tray or with morning coffee all year round.
Almond crescent cookies are essentially a shortbread cookie where some of the flour is replaced with almond flour and the dough is formed into a crescent shape. Once baked, the cookies are dusted with powdered sugar for a little added sweetness. They’re sometimes called Viennese crescent cookies, and if you love a buttery, not too sweet cookie – then I think you’ll love these. The buttery, almond flavor is absolutely delicious and the tender, melt-in-your mouth texture is impossible to resist.
I think shortbread deserves a place on every Christmas cookie tray. But if you ever find that shortbread is a little too plain or boring, then I recommend trying these.
Because this is a shortbread-esque recipe, there are no eggs and no baking powder or baking soda. This is what gives the cookies they’re slightly crumbly, melt-in-your mouth texture. By not adding baking powder or baking soda it also ensures that the cookies don’t rise and spread. This is not a typo and is what makes shortbread type cookies what they are.
Dealing with Crumbly Cookie Dough: The dough for this recipe can become too crumbly and dry. This is typically caused by adding in too much flour. I highly recommend using a scale and measuring the flour in grams for the most accurate results. When adding in the dry ingredients, start with 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup almond flour. After they’re mixed in, the dough should look slightly crumbly and it should be somewhat difficult to mix in all the dry ingredients. If you squeeze it in your palm, it should stick together and form a ball but not stick to your hand. If it sticks to your hand, mix in 1 to 2 extra tablespoons of flour. If the dough is too crumbly and simply won’t stick together, mix in 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until the dough will stick together.
Note that it is important that the dry ingredients are somewhat difficult to incorporate, otherwise the cookies won’t hold their shape.
Forming the Dough into Crescents: This is the most time consuming part of this recipe. You’ll break off pieces of the dough with about 1 tablespoon of dough each. Squeeze the dough into a ball and then pinch into a crescent shape. If there are a few cracks in the crescents that is ok.
Freezing and Make Ahead Tips
The cookie dough can be made up to 48 hours before you plan to bake. Simply cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate until your ready. Let the dough sit on the counter and come to room temperature before forming into crescent shapes.
These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen in an airtight freezer container or bag for up to 2 months. Always thaw cookies in the fridge and not on the counter. Thawing slowly helps the cookies keep their texture better.
Need more shortbread recipes? Then be sure to try:
Almond Crescent Cookies
- Cookie Sheets
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226 grams) softened
- ⅔ cup superfine sugar (133 grams) granulated works too
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (281 grams) you may need 1-2 extra tablespoons
- 1 cup almond flour (95 grams) almond meal works too
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (27 grams) for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) or 325F (170C) on a convection oven.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until combined.
- Mix in the vanilla, almond extract and salt.
- Add in 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup almond flour. Start with the mixer on a low speed and gradually increase until you no longer see pieces of flour. It should be a bit difficult to incorporate all of the dry ingredients.
- Turn off the mixer. Take a section of dough and squeeze it in your hand. If the dough sticks together, it is finished. If it just crumbles and doesn't stick together, mix in 1-2 tablespoons of milk (do this slowly) until it sticks together. If when you squeeze the dough you end up with sticky dough attached to your hands, mix in a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Pinch of sections of dough with about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of dough each. Roll into a ball and then pinch into a crescent shape.
- Place crescents about 1.5 inches (3 cm) apart on the lined baking sheets.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time in the preheated oven for about 12-14 minutes or until the tops no longer look doughy. Do not bake these cookies until they are golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for about 5-10 minutes. Then dust with powdered sugar by sprinkling 1-2 tablespoons at a time through a metal sifter.
- Butter: Because this is a shortbread-type cookie and so much of the flavor comes from the butter, do not substitute with margarine or shortening. If using salted butter, simply remove the salt from the recipe.
- Almond Extract: Almond extract can be found in the baking aisle typically near the vanilla extract. It can be left out of this recipe, however the almond flavor won't be quite as pronounced.
- Almond Flour vs Almond Meal: I have used both almond flour and almond meal in these cookies. If making your own almond meal, add a few tablespoons of flour (from the 2 ¼ cup that the recipe calls for) in your food processor before processing the almonds. Otherwise, you can end up with almond butter.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 cookie, assuming the recipe yields 30 uniform cookies.