Sunday, December 21, 2014

Almond Crescent Moon Cookies

Two of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes have been given to me by my dear mother-in-law, Adalou.  She has a vast repertoire of delicious recipes, but I just adore her Spritz Cookies and these tasty almond cookies.  The almond cookie recipe came from her Aunt Cathie who called them Canadian Cookies, but I like to call them Crescent Moon Cookies because it conjures up a Norman Rockwell Christmas card image in my mind.  Passing down recipes from one generation to the next is a tradition I hold dear and a way to stay connected with both the past and the present.

Another tradition I adore is the holiday cookie tray.  What is more festive than a large plate of assorted cookies to add to the Christmas table?  The Almond Crescent Moon Cookies and the Spritz Cookies are a good start.  For a light and fun addition try the Meringue Mushrooms or the Meringue Drops,  Or for a delicious traditional cut-out sugar cookie recipe try the Vanilla-Scented Sugar Cookies.  Whether you include a few or all of these recipes your Christmas cookie tray is sure to be a hit and a great way to pass on a fun culinary tradition at the holidays.  

Wishing you all many Christmas Blessings!

Use a food processor or blender to finely grind the almonds.  The mixture can have some almond pieces, but the finer the grind the easier the dough will stay together.

Almond Crescent Moon Cookies
makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (105 g) confectioners sugar
2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (250 g) finely chopped blanched almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon ice water
1 cup (140 g) confectioners sugar, for coating the cookies

Preheat the oven the 325℉ (163℃).  Line 3 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

In the bowl of a standing mixer using the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Sift together the flour and salt.

On low speed add the flour/salt, almonds, almond extract, and ice water.  Mix just until the dough comes together.

Roll spoonfuls of dough by hand then form into a crescent shape.  Put on prepared baking sheets.

Bake until cookies start to brown, 20-22 minutes.  

Remove from the oven and roll in confectioners sugar while warm.  

The cookies will keep at room temperature stored in an airtight container for several days.  Layer the cookies between waxed paper or parchment paper sprinkled with additional confectioners sugar.

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