Vanilla Crescents

 Moon shaped cookies dusted with icing sugar

Vanilla Crescents, buttery, vanilla-infused, crumbly with a melt-in-your-mouth texture cookie. 

These cookies are popular at Christmas time but are wonderful all year long.

You can use the food processor to finely chop the almonds (or hazelnuts) if you can not find them ground.  Just make sure you don’t over process them, or they will turn into a paste.

Shaping the cookies into crescents takes a bit of practice, if they don’t look perfect the first time, they will still be delicious. If the dough is very soft and difficult to handle, briefly place it in the fridge or freezer for about an hour,  just long enough to firm the dough up. That will make it easier to shape the crescents.

We recommend rolling the crescents in vanilla sugar and but others prefer them rolled in confectioners' sugar which is perfect for Christmas because it looks like they've been dusted with freshly fallen snow.

To have the thick white coating of sugar we recommend rolling the cookies twice. Once while still warm, and a second time after they have completely cooled. Use a spatula to lift them off the baking sheet and handle the warm cookies very gently as they crumble easily. The cookies will firm up as they cool so you don’t have to be quite as careful during the second rolling in sugar.  If you only want sugar on one side then you can sift the sugar over the cookies.

Store the cookies in an airtight container. They keep for several weeks but like all buttery cookies, they taste best within a week. The cookies can also be frozen, stacked in layers in airtight containers with waxed paper between each layer.

 Yield 6 dozen


1 cup of unsalted room temperature butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup ground almonds

Confectioners’ sugar (enough for dredging)


  1. Combine butter and sugar, salt and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
  2. Mix in flour and ground almonds until forms into dough
  3. Chill the dough for at least one hour. * Chilling the dough keeps it from spreading when baking
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Shape the dough into tiny crescents using 1 teaspoon of dough for each cookie. Place them on an ungreased sheet pan 1” apart.
  6. Bake for 12-15 min
  7. Sift confectioners’ sugar all over the hot cookies right after baking.
  8. Let cool completely then enjoy!