This Almond Crescent Cookies Recipe comes from award-winning chef Dorie Greenspan. Traditional for Christmas in Austria and Germany, these festive cookies are nutty, buttery, vanilla-scented, sugar-dusted, sweet and salty, melt-in-your-mouth perfection!
Almond crescent cookies, also known as Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescents), are vanilla-almond flavored with a rich buttery consistency, similar to shortbread. The sugar-dusting looks like snow, making these fun festive cookies a perfect choice for Christmas or any winter celebration.
How to make these scrumptious Almond Crescent Cookies
These cookies are fun and easy to make in 5 simple steps. You can crank out a batch of 24 crescent almond cookies in about 45 minutes. If you want to prep these ahead, the dough can be stored in the fridge for two days before shaping and baking, or the dough can be formed into cookies, frozen, and baked at a future time. See the notes in the recipe for more detailed storage and freezing instructions.
- Step 1: 2 sticks of butter, ½ cup of white sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract and a little salt are beaten with a hand mixer, until creamy.
- Step 2: 1 ¾ cups of white flour and 1 ¾ cups of almond flour are incorporated into the mixture to create the cookie dough.
- Step 3: To form the cookies, a cookie scoop or a tablespoon is used to scoop up pieces of dough. Each piece is hand-rolled into a ball, then rolled on the counter into a 4-inch-long rope, which is then bent into a crescent shape and placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Step 4: The cookies are baked in a 350ºF oven for about 20 minutes and are then cooled for 5 minutes or so before being given the sugar treatment.
- Step 5: When the cookies have cooled for a few minutes, they're dusted generously with confectioner's sugar.
The baked cookies are dusted with sugar while they're still warm. If you're making these ahead, I suggest that you give them an extra dusting of sugar, with a baker's dusting wand, just before serving. This will give the cookies a snow-covered look.
If you're wondering why I keep showing photos of these almond crescent cookies with a cup of coffee, it's because I'm obsessed with the combination. Try dipping them - Yum!!
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Here's the Almond Crescent Cookies Recipe. If you make these, I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!
Almond Crescent Cookies Recipe
Nutty, vanilla-scented, sugar dusted, melt-in-your-mouth almond crescent cookies. Traditional for Christmas but delicious any time.
Adapted from a recipe in Dorie's Cookies
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 24 Cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: German and Austrian
- 2 sticks (8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon pure almond extract, to taste (optional) *Note, I didn't use any almond extract in my cookies.
- 1¾ cups (238 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1⅓ cups (133 grams) almond flour
- Granulated or confectioners’ sugar, for coating
Position two oven racks to evenly divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and the almond extract, if you’re using it, then scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the machine off, add the all-purpose flour all at once and then pulse the mixer to start blending. Mix on low speed until the flour is almost incorporated, then add the almond flour and mix only until it disappears into the mixture and the dough comes together. (For storing or freezing the dough, see the notes below)
- Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out walnut-size nuggets of dough or use a tablespoon. Work each piece into a compact ball between your palms and then roll it on the counter into a rope about 4 inches long. Bend the rope into a crescent, pinch the ends lightly and place on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the crescents.
- Bake for 19 to 21 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back after 10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden at their tips, pale everywhere else and set, but too fragile to lift without breaking. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies rest for 5 minutes before you give them the sugar treatment.
- Put the sugar in a small bowl and, one by one, dredge the cookies in sugar to coat the, and place them on racks to cool. (Note: I dipped the bottoms of the cookies in sugar and then used the baker's dusting wand for the tops. The wand prevents clumping and gives the cookies a snow-covered look.
Notes on storing and freezing the dough: The dough can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. If you decide to freeze the dough, I think you’ll find it more convenient to shape it first and freeze the crescents; let the crescents come to cool room temperature before baking them. If you omit the sugar coating, the baked cookies can be wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months. The baked cookies will keep for about 3 days; give them a fresh dusting of confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Keywords: German Christmas Cookies, Dorie Greenspan's Almond Crescent Cookies, Holiday cookies recipe
Originally published September 19, 2016. Updated December 7, 2020 with added nutritional information, a couple of new photos, and clarifying details in the written post. The same delicious recipe!