These gluten-free almond crescent cookies are a healthy take on my nanny’s crescent cookie recipe. Each cookie only has about 60 calories and 2 grams of sugar plus they can easily be 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 usually get together to do holiday cookie baking each year and nanny’s crescent cookies are a mainstay. Before my nanny passed, she would always help out by rolling all the cookies in powered sugar for us. And she was a hoot too. If we were not watching closely she would end up munching on cookies the whole time she was rolling them.
My nanny’s traditional crescent cookies are made with white flour and butter. 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 almond crescent 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!
These tasty little almond crescent cookies couldn’t be easier. They only require one bowl, six ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up! Here’s what you need:
Mix the dough – Mix almond flour, softened butter, 3 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a small bowl until a 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.
Scoop the dough – Roll tablespoons of the dough into a small log. Place the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1 inch apart. Use your hands to shape the cookies into a crescent shape.
Bake – 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.
Roll in powdered sugar – Place 2-3 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl and roll each cookie until coated. Let cookies cool and enjoy.
After letting these cookies cool completely on a wire rack, store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 1 week. I’ve found that storing them in the fridge this helps the cookies keep a crisp texture and ensures that the powdered sugar doesn’t soak into the cookies. They’re also delicious after freezing! For freezing crescent cookies, simply place in an airtight freezer-safe container. They should last in the freezer for at least a month.