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Cookies | Christmas | Almonds | Hazelnuts 

Vanilla Crescent Cookies

These simple crumbly cookies, loaded with nuts and scented with sweet vanilla, are an ideal addition to your festive cookie tray. One of our favourite cookies!

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Are you fan of vanilla and nuts? If yes, then you'll adore our vanilla crescent cookies that are delicate and so delicious and literally melt in your mouth.

Our version of these Austrian cookies contain both almonds and hazelnuts for super rich nutty flavour. Dusted with a thin layer of icing sugar flavoured with vanilla, these cookies are decorative and delicious. 

Plus, they are so easy to make, these cookies are perfect choice for both everyday afternoon tea time or holiday cookie tray.

Let's check what we need for these cookies and how to make them.

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Ingredients for the vanilla crescents dough

The dough is a shortcrust dough enriched with combination of almonds and hazelnuts. Nuts always enrich the cookies adding flavour and crunchiness.

We love to add toasted nuts, both ground and chopped into our cookie recipes such as hazelnut cookies packed with chocolate chunks or elegant Italian cookies sandwiched with rich dark chocolate - baci di dama.

Let's see what else you'll need for our vanilla crescent cookies:

  • ALMONDS and HAZELNUTS: Both are toasted to enchance the flavour. The easiest way to do this is to place them on the baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-6 minutes (160°C/320°F). Do this separately!

  • PLAIN FLOUR: We use plain flour here and haven't try them with other flours, but assume that whole wheat or spelt flours will work well (just slightly different texture).

  • BUTTER: We used here cold butter as we rub it in the flour. Take the butter block and cut into slices (2-3mm) on the cutting board.

  • SUGAR: We used here caster sugar but feel free to use granulated sugar instead - it work also great in this recipe.

  • GRATED ORANGE ZEST: use freshly grated orange zest to add some citrus note to the cookies.

  • WATER: This recipe don't call for eggs so some water is necessary to bind the dough. Add only a few of tablespoons!

  • ICING SUGAR and VANILLA SUGAR: Mix those two and dust cookies once baked. Buy vanilla sugar in the store in the baking aisle or make your own (keep vanilla bean in the white granulated or caster sugar for 2 weeks). We love Dr Oetker Vanilla Bourbon sugar with intensive vanilla flavour and scent.

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How to make the dough for vanilla crescents

Once you have ready almonds and hazelnuts, making the dough is fairly easy. You don't need any special equipment, everything you need is one large bowl and your hands.

  1. First rub butter into the flour (plus salt) with your fingers until coarse crumbs form.

  2. The next, add sugar and both nuts and stir to combine. 

  3. Add grated orange zest and water. Start to squeeze the mixture until the dough forms (this will take 5-6 minutes). First it will look like it won't come together but as you continue to knead it will form a crumbly dry dough. This is fine as this will result later with melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

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How to shape vanilla crescent cookies

Start to shape the cookies immediately. Divide the dough into thirds, then wrap 2 of them with aluminium foil or cling film and place in the fridge while leave 1 to work with.

The most important thing is to make uniform cookies so they bake evenly and don't burn. The easiest way to do this is to half the dough you are working with, then roll each half into a small log (around 2.5cm in diameter).

Now, using a knife or a dough scraper cut small pieces of 2cm. Continue with rolling each piece into a thin rope (7-8cm) with slightly thinner ends and shaping into crescent.

Useful tip

From this dough we made 60 vanilla crescents. You can also make larger cookies to save on time. It depends on your preference. The dough can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days then baked once you are ready. Cookies with be the same delicious and beautiful.

Storing vanilla crescent cookies

These cookies are ideal for making ahead as they can be stored in an airtight container for weeks. Just put some baking paper between the layers of cookies. We love this cute glass jar which will look amazing filled with our vanilla crescent cookies.

Looking for more tasty cookies? Take a look at these recipes:

If you need more cookie inspiration, check out our complete Cookie Recipe Collection!

Vanilla Crescent Cookies

MAKES: 60 cookies
COOKS IN: 1 hour


For the dough

  • 300g plain flour
  • 200g butter, at room temperature
  • 50g almonds, toasted and ground
  • 50g hazelnuts, toasted and ground
  • 60g caster or granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons milk

For the coating

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  1. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl then add salt and stir to combine.

  2. Add butter and rub into the flour using your fingers until you get a coarse crumbs. 

  3. Add sugar, almonds, hazelnuts and grated orange zest and stir to combine.

  4. Start to squeeze the mixture with your palms until the dough forms (you will need about 5-6 minutes). The dough will be crumbly and firm but this is how it should be.

  5. Cut the dough into thirds, wrap 2 of them into cling film and keep in the fridge, while leave one to work with.

  6. Preheat the oven to 175°C (347°F) and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

  7. Half the dough then roll each half on the work surface into logs 2.5cm in diameter. Now using a small knife or a dough scraper, cut logs into 2cm long pieces. Roll gently each piece to about 6-7cm long rope with slightly thinner ends and shape into crescent. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown. Don't overbake them.

  8. Mix icing sugar with vanilla scented sugar in one bowl then dust generously crescents on the baking sheet 1-2 minutes after taken from the oven. Leave to cool completely then transfer to a serving bowl or airtight container.

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