These simple almond flour crescent cookies are a healthy take on my nanny’s signature crescent cookie recipe. Each cookie only has about 60 calories and 2 grams of sugar plus they’re gluten-free and easily made vegan!
Oh my! I think I’ve found my new favorite healthier holiday cookie recipe. I know I say this every year (in 2015 I was hooked on these healthy no bake cookies and last year the whole EBF team was going gaga over these almond butter espresso cookies, but honestly this cookie recipe is near and dear to my heart because it’s a remake of my nanny’s crescent cookies.
This is a recipe we’ve made every single year for Christmas since I was a little girl and I’ve always adored the crispy pecan shortbread texture paired with the sweet and fluffy powered sugar coating.
All the ladies in my family including my mom, sister, nieces and nanny get together to do holiday cookie baking each year and nanny’s crescent cookies are a mainstay. Although she doesn’t make her way around the kitchen the way she used to nanny still has the energy to help out by rolling all the cookies in powered sugar for us. And she’s a hoot too. If we’re not watching closely she’ll end up munching on cookies the whole time she’s rolling them.
Over the years I’ve moved away from using regular white flour when baking so I’m really excited to have a grain-free, gluten-free version of these cookies to enjoy. You’ll notice in the recipe that the cookies can be made with organic butter, ghee or vegan butter. I opted to go the vegan route and used Earth Balance buttery sticks, which worked amazingly well. They’re delicious either way so feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
The best part is that these cookies are a pretty healthy option when it comes to holiday cookies because they’re low in calories, sugar and carbs! Each cookie has about 60 calories, 2 grams of sugar and 3 grams of carbs. Not too shabby!
Plus, they only require one bowl, six ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up! How’s that for a win-win cookie situation?
- 1 cup finely ground almond flour
- 3 Tablespoons softened organic butter, ghee or vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 5-6 Tablespoons organic confectioners’ sugar (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grab an ungreased baking stone.
- Mix almond flour, softened butter, 3 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and salt in a small bowl until a cohesive dough forms. It will seem a little dry at first, but just keep mixing. Once combined, mix in chopped pecans. You can use your hands to help mix the pecans in if needed.
- Roll tablespoons of the dough into a small log and then shape into a crescent shape. Arrange the crescents about 1 inch apart on the sheet as they will spread a bit. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes or until they start to turn light golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a rack to cool 10 minutes more. Place 2-3 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl and roll each cookie until coated. Let cookies cool and enjoy.
- Store any leftover cookies in the fridge. I’ve found that this helps the cookies keep a crisp texture and ensures that the powdered sugar doesn’t soak into the cookies.
- Calories: 63kcal
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 13mg
- Fat: 5g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 3g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 1g
- Cholesterol: 0
Want more healthy holiday cookie recipes? Check out the recipes below from some of my favorite healthy bloggers:
Gluten/Sugar Free Cranberry Pistachio Sugar Cookies from Food Faith Fitness// This quick and easy, gluten free Sugar Free Chewy Sugar Cookies Recipe has cranberries and pistachios! They’re a healthier Christmas treat for only 95 calories!
Orange Infused Cranberry Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies from Running to the Kitchen // These cranberry almond chocolate chip cookies are infused with orange zest. Dip them in chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt for a gluten-free holiday treat!
Healthy Soft Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies from Fit Foodie Finds // Lighten up your holiday season with these spectacular Healthy Soft Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies. They’re grain-free and made with a delicious home raspberry filling.
No Cook Toasted Almond Mocha Fudge Slice (Vegan, Paleo) from Cotter Crunch // This easy no cook toasted almond fudge recipe is a must make holiday treat. Made with unrefined sugar, this almond mocha fudge is rich yet naturally vegan and paleo friendly.
Have you started doing any holiday baking yet?