A classic holiday and Christmas cookie, these homemade Hazelnut and Almond Crescents rolled in confectioners’ sugar just melt in your mouth.
Crescents or moon cookies are a holiday and Christmas classic for many and are one of my family’s favourite treats.
This recipe is definitely one for special occasions. These crescent cookies are nutty, rich and buttery. They're delicious on their own and even better served with a good cup of tea or coffee!
How to Make Crescent (Moon) Cookies
This particular crescent or moon cookie recipe combines freshly toasted almonds and hazelnuts. But you can use just about any nut or nut combination you like. Walnut crescents are also delicious and very popular.
You can substitute one or both nuts, just remember to use the total amount of nuts indicated in the recipe card below.
- Whole hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
- Whole almonds, toasted
- Granulated sugar
- Unsalted butter cut in large chunks and slightly softened
- Pure vanilla and almond extracts
- All-purpose flour
- Confectioner sugar, also known as icing or powdered sugar
Though making these cookies can be a bit time consuming, the recipe is easy and the cookie dough is actually made in your food processor.
You'll start by adding the granulated sugar in the food processor and processing it until it becomes powdery. Then the nuts get added to the food processor. I prefer to process the nuts by using the pulse function. This ensures the nuts don't become overly ground.
Once this step is done, add the butter and extracts to the food processor and process until the butter and nuts are well blended.
Then add in the flour in batches and process until blended in and a dough starts to form. Transfer the dough from the food processor into a bowl and refrigerate for about one hour before forming the cookies.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop even portions of cookie dough. Shape each portion into a crescent (half-moon) or if you prefer you can also roll the dough into balls. Either way, they taste delicious.
Refrigerate cookies until ready to bake. Bake cookies in the oven (one sheet at a time) for approximately 18 minutes, or until cookies are golden on the bottom and just slightly colored on top.
Remove the cookies from the oven, let cool on the baking tray for 5 to 7 minutes and then roll them in confectioners' (icing) sugar.
Serve these nut cookies with a hot cup of coffee or tea. If serving the cookies after having frozen and thawed them you might want to dust them with a fresh coating of confectioners' sugar to get them looking like they were freshly baked and pretty again.
These Hazelnut and Almond Crescents can be stored in an airtight container on the countertop for several days.
Leftover or extra cookies can be frozen for up to three months. Just store them in an airtight container with wax paper in between the layers of cookies. Thaw cookies in the refrigerator overnight.
If you enjoy nut cookies, make sure to check out this recipe for Powdered Sugar Almond Cookies. They are made using only almonds and look like snowball cookies!
More Amazing Cookies for the Holidays
- Rolled Baklava
- Espresso Cardamom Shortbread Cookies
- Italian Amaretti Cookies
- Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti
- Matcha Sugar Cookies
Hazelnut and Almond Crescents
- 2.25 cups whole hazelnuts toasted and skins removed
- 1.5 cups whole almonds toasted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1.5 cups unsalted butter cut in large chunks and slightly softened
- 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups confectioner sugar icing sugar
- To toast nuts, preheat oven to 325°F. Spread each variety of nut on a separate cookie sheet and in a single layer. Make sure to stir the nuts every few minutes. Nuts are done when they’re lightly browned, it should take between 8 to 10 minutes.
- In a food processor, process the sugar and salt until it looks powdery and fine, about 45 seconds.
- Add the almonds and process until they’re finely chopped, about 20 seconds.
- Add the hazelnuts to the almonds and process until they are medium-fine chopped.
- Add the butter and the vanilla and almond extracts. Pulse until the butter is smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Add the flour in two additions and pulse until incorporated and a soft dough begins to form around the blade.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl and mix briefly with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s evenly mixed. Chill the dough for an hour.
- To shape dough into crescents, use a cookie scoop to measure equal amounts of dough for cookies (I use a number 50 scoop). Shape each ball into a crescent and arrange cookies 1 inch apart onto baking sheets lined with non-stick mats or parchment paper. Refrigerate the cookies until they are ready to go in the oven.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.
- Bake crescents, one sheet at a time, for 17-18 minutes, rotating the sheet from front to back halfway through baking. Cookies are baked when bottoms are golden and tops are slightly coloured and firm to the touch.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes and then roll each one into the sifted icing sugar.
- Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.