I usually make these at Christmas time, but you simply can’t resist making them now & then. They are buttery and rich Austrian cookies, fragrant with vanilla. Over the years, I’ve intensified the vanilla flavour by adding more pure vanilla and also a drop of almond extract. Piled high on a beautiful dish, it’s impossible to resist these cookies.


Vanilla Crescents

For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sliced almonds, preferably with the skins
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup Confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp. Almond extract
1 large egg yolk

For the topping:
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar


In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, almonds and salt. Process until the almonds are finely ground. The mixture will be very powdery. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed for a minute or two, until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until smooth (a minute or two). Add the vanilla extract, the almond extract and the egg yolk and mix until just combined. Using your hands, gather the dough into a ball. It may seem difficult at first but as you continue to work the dough into a ball with your hands it will come together. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. After 1 hour, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper if desired.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and begin breaking off pieces that are roughly an inch in size. Roll the pieces into a short rope (about 3 inches long) and then curve the rope into the shape of a crescent. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and continue with the rest of the dough. (Note: If the dough doesn’t come together in your hands, keep working it. As your hands soften the butter in the dough it will hold together.) Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 16 minutes. Check on them after 15 minutes. They’re done once they begin to turn golden around the edges. Remove the tray to a wire rack and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

As soon as you can handle the cookies, roll them in the sugar and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. I have also used Confectioners sugar to roll the crescents in. You can try both.
These cookies are actually the best on the 2nd day. The flavours really develop and they’re delicious. Enjoy! Note: This recipe will yield from 40 to 45 cookies. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.