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Vanilla Crescent Cookies

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You'll adore these crumbly and nutty cookies that melt in your mouth. These are packed with toasted almonds and hazelnuts and rolled into vanilla-scented sugar. Plus, they are so easy to make.

Vanilla crescents are delicious treat to eat with an afternoon cup of tea or perfect cookies for your festive cookie platter.

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Ingredients you'll need

The dough is a shortcrust dough enriched with combination of almonds and hazelnuts. Nuts always enrich the cookies adding flavour and crunchiness. Shop high-quality nuts easily online!

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.

  • 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 for this recipe, but whole wheat or spelt flour will also work well here (the texture will be just slightly different).

  • Butter: The butter should be cold. Cut butter block into slices (2-3mm) on a cutting board before adding to the flour.

  • Sugar: Both caster and granulated sugar will work well in this recipe.

  • Grated orange zest: Freshly grated orange zest adds refreshing citrus note to the cookies. Don't skip this!

  • Milk or water: This recipe doesn't call for eggs, so some milk or water is necessary to bind the dough. Add only a few of tablespoons!

  • Icing sugar and vanilla-scented sugar: Blend of these two adds final touch to the cookies. Mix both sugars and dust all over cookies once baked (or roll them out). 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!

3 easy steps for making the dough:

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. Mix dry ingredients: First stir all dry ingredients (plain flour, sugar, salt, ground almonds and ground hazelnuts) in a large bowl.

  2. Rub the butter: Cut cold butter and rub with your fingertips into dry ingredients until you get a coarse crumbs.

  3. Bind the dough: Add grated orange zest and milk, then bring the mixture together until the firm ball is formed (this will take around 5-6 minutes). It will first look it won't come together, but keep going and at some point the dough will come together. The crumbly dough will result later on with melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

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Shaping the vanilla crescents

Start to shape the cookies immediately. Divide the dough into 3 pieces and wrap 2 of them with aluminium foil or cling film and place in the fridge.

Take the third piece and start to work with it. The most important thing is to make uniform cookies so they bake evenly and don't burn. Here are the steps:

  1. Half the dough, then roll each piece into sausage shape (2.5cm in diameter).

  2. Now, using a knife or a dough scraper cut small pieces of 2cm.

  3. Next, roll each piece into a thin rope (7-8cm) with slightly thinner ends and shape into crescents. Arrange cookies on the baking tray slowly so they keep the shape.

Shaping the crescents
photo guide:

Useful tip

From this dough we made 60 vanilla crescents. You can also make larger cookies to save on time. It depends on your preferences.

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.

Be sure to check out our TOP COOKIE BAKING TIPS for the perfect cookies every single time.

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.

A few of our favourite cookie recipes:

Crescent Cookies

MAKES: 60 cookies
COOKS IN: 1 hour


For the dough

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

For the coating


  1. MAKING THE DOUGH: Combine the plain flour, sugar, salt, ground almonds and hazelnuts in a large bowl.

  2. Add butter and rub it with your fingers into the dry ingredients until you get a coarse crumbs. 

  3. Add grated orange zest and milk and 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.

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

  5. Preheat the oven to 175°C/347°F. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

  6. 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. 

  7. BAKING COOKIES: Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just lightly brown.

  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.

Handy equipment:

Mixing Bowl (high-quality glass & easy to clean)
Nut Grinder | Citrus Zester
Dough Scraper or Small Knife
Baking Sheet | Cookie Spatula

CATEGORIES: Cookies, ChristmasAlmondHazelnut

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