Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hazelnut Crescent Cookies

It is that time in Colorado when one day it is blustery and cold with snowflakes in air and then the next day it is 70 degrees and sunny. We have to check the weather channel in the mornings to know whether a coat and mittens are appropriate, because it is possible that a simple long-sleeved tee will do the trick. But whatever you are wearing, you walk into Target and you are greeted with large displays proclaiming that the holidays are coming! Quick, buy something! Gifts! Lights! Wreaths!

I am happy to say that I haven't bought a single thing. I haven't even hung the wreath on the door. But I have done something far more important: I have made some holiday cookies.
 These types of nut cookies have always been favorites of mine. I like that you can easily sub out the nut if you don't happen to have the one called for. (Hazelnuts are so delicious, but pecans would also be perfect.) Their shortbread-y texture means that they practically melt on your tongue. And I don't know what it is about that quick roll in the powdered sugar that they get, but they just look and taste festive.
My 3-year-old has been begging me to make cookies lately. I'm sure she would have preferred that I work some chocolate chips into the recipe somehow, but she still had a lot of fun shaping the cookies into little crescent moons. If I didn't watch closely, she would simply ball them up and put them on the cookie sheet. "Full moons," she explained. 

Hazelnut Crescent Cookies

Adapted from Food & Wine

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups hazelnuts

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.

2. Grind your hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground. (The original recipe called for blanched hazelnuts, but I didn't have them and unblanched worked just fine.)

3. Place parchment paper on two cookie sheets. In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat the butter with 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt, and beat until blended. Beat in flour and ground hazelnuts.) Cover the dough and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Use about 2 tbs of dough for about each cookie, and roll them and shape them into crescent shapes. As you shape, place each cookie on the trays, about an inch apart from each other. Bake the cookies for about 18 minutes, until lightly browned. Let them cool until ready to handle (5 minutes or so).

5. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar in a shallow bowl. Gently dip each cookie into the sugar and coat evenly. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let them cool completely. Makes about 20 cookies.


  1. Wow these look so delicious! Beautiful pictures, thanks for the recipe : )

  2. These cookies look incredibly tasty. What a beautiful child you have!


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