Almond Crescent Cookies

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These almond crescent cookies are buttery, nutty and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! They come together quickly with only 6 simple ingredients and are the perfect holiday treat.

Today I’m sharing a cookie recipe that is near and dear to my heart… almond crescent cookies. This recipe is a remake of my nanny’s crescent cookies that we’ve made every single year for Christmas since I was a little girl.

The combo of a crisp pecan shortbread cookie paired with the sweet, melt-in-your-mouth powered sugar coating is so delicious and nostalgic!

Almond crescent cookies on a plate.
Almond crescent cookies on parchment paper with one bite taken out of one of the cookies.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy to make: You only need six simple ingredients and about 30 minutes to make these cookies!
  • Great texture and taste: They have the perfect cookie texture, with a light crunch from pecans, and of course a lovely coating of powdered sugar.
  • Ideal for any occasion: They’re tasty, such a fun shape and the perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray for gatherings, cookie exchanges or as a personal treat.
  • Healthier option: 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!

I personally love this recipe because it’s a family tradition! All the ladies in my family 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.

Ingredients measured out to make Almond Crescent Cookies: powdered sugar, almond flour, pecans, butter, vanilla and salt.

Ingredients Needed

  • almond flour – my nanny’s traditional crescent cookie recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but over the years I’ve moved away from using regular white flour when baking so I’m using almond flour for these and it works great!
  • softened organic butter, ghee or vegan butter – I used Earth Balance buttery sticks to make these vegan/dairy-free, but feel free to use regular butter or ghee instead. Just make sure to use unsalted butter.
  • confectioners’ sugar – another name for powdered sugar and what we’re using to coat these cookies in.
  • vanilla extract – the perfect flavor enhancer for these cookies.
  • salt – brings all the flavors together!
  • pecans – make sure to grab raw pecans and chop them up finely! Since these cookies are on the smaller side we don’t want huge chunks of nuts in there.
Unbaked almond crescent cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

How to Make Almond Crescent Cookies

Step 1 – Mix almond flour, softened butter, 3 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl until a dough forms. It will seem a little dry at first, but just keep mixing! Once combined, mix in the chopped pecans. You can use your hands to help mix the pecans in if needed.

Step 2 – Using a Tablespoon, scoop the cookie dough and roll it into a small log. Place the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat about 1 inch apart. Use your hands to shape the cookies into a crescent shape.

Step 3 – Bake the cookies for about 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.

Step 4 – Place 2-3 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl and roll each cookie until coated. Let cookies cool and enjoy.

Baked and coated almond crescent cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Substitutions

  • Powdered sugar: To make these almond crescent cookies lower in sugar and carbs you can use a product like Swerve confectioners’ sugar or powdered monkfruit sweetner instead of traditional confectioners’ sugar.
  • Almond flour: I wouldn’t recommend substituting a different flour as this recipe was developed for almond flour specifically.
  • Pecans: You can sub in another nut like almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts or leave the nuts out all together.

Recipe Variations

  • Add more almond flavor: Swap the vanilla extract with almond extract!
  • Add chocolate: Make chocolate-dipped crescent cookies by dipping one side of the cookies in melted chocolate.
  • Use toasted nuts: For a unique nutty flavor toast your pecans in the oven before chopping them. To do this, place your nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast them at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes, watching closely towards the end to make sure they don’t burn.
Almond crescent cookies on a plate.

Tips For Success

  • Use softened butter: This is important otherwise it’ll be hard to mix your dough. Either let your butter soften at room temperature or place it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften up.
  • Use super-fine almond flour: For the best results, use finely ground blanched almond flour. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill. Coarser flour can make your cookies gritty and may affect how the ingredients bind together.
  • Use finely chopped nuts: Make sure your nuts are chopped into very small bits. Use a sharp knife for this or place the nuts in a plastic, sealed bag and smash them with a rolling pin. Just make sure the nuts don’t turn into a powder!
  • Bake until just golden brown: Pull your cookies from the oven as soon as they start to turn golden brown because they can easily go from golden to burnt!
  • Cool slightly before rolling in powdered sugar: Wait for the cookies to cool slightly before rolling them in confectioners’ sugar. If they’re too hot, the sugar will melt into the cookies. If they’re too cold, the powdered sugar won’t stick as nicely to the cookies. A slightly warm cookie is perfect for a beautiful, snowy coating.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge: Store any leftover cookies in the fridge unless you’re going to eat them in a day or so. I’ve found that this helps the cookies keep a crisp texture and ensures that the powdered sugar doesn’t soak into the cookies.
Baked and coated almond crescent cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Troubleshooting Tips For Crumbly Dough

Crumbly dough often lacks enough moisture, usually due to not enough butter or the butter not being soft enough to blend well. If your dough is falling apart, try these quick fixes:

  • Check your butter: Make sure it’s softened, not straight from the fridge, so it combines well with other ingredients.
  • Measure correctly: Too much almond flour or nuts can dry out your dough. Be precise with measuring your ingredients.
  • Don’t under-mix: It may seem dry initially, but keep mixing until the dough starts to stick together. Sometimes, a little extra hand-kneading does the trick.
  • Add moisture if needed: A few drops of almond milk or water can help bind the dough if it’s still too crumbly after mixing well.
A close up image of almond crescent cookies on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

How to Store

Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week. I personally prefer to store them in the fridge as I’ve found that this helps the cookies keep a crisp texture and ensures that the powdered sugar doesn’t soak into the cookies.

Can I Freeze Almond Crescent Cookies?

Yes! You can freeze either the baked cookies or the unbaked cookie dough, making this a great make-ahead Christmas cookie recipe. Here’s how to freeze these cookies:

  • Freeze baked cookies: Simply place them in the freezer on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper to harden up. Once hard, transfer them to an airtight freezer-safe container. They should last in the freezer for 1-2 months and can be thawed in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Freeze dough: If you’re prepping the dough ahead of time to bake closer to the holidays you can easily store the dough in the freezer. To do this, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to make the cookies, let the dough thaw overnight in the fridge. You can also form the cookies into crescent shapes before freezing and bake straight from the freezer. They might just need a few extra minutes to bake!

More Holiday Cookies To Try

More Almond Flour Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out my full collection of Christmas cookies as well as all of the dessert recipes on EBF!

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4.22 from 297 votes

Almond Crescent Cookies

These almond crescent cookies are buttery, nutty and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! They come together quickly with only 6 simple ingredients and are the perfect healthy holiday treat.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 18

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Mix almond flour, softened butter, 3 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixing 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.
  • Using a tablespoon scoop the dough and form into a small log 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 an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days, in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Video

Notes

  • Powdered sugar: To make these cookies lower in sugar and carbs you can use a product like Swerve confectioners’ sugar or powdered monkfruit sweetner instead of traditional confectioners’ sugar. 
  • Almond flour: I wouldn’t recommend substituting a different flour as this recipe was developed for almond flour specifically.
  • Pecans: You can sub in another nut like almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts or leave the nuts out all together.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Keyword: almond crescent cookies
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating




239 Comments

    1. Excellent! I am excited to hear that you are enjoying this recipe, Connie! Thank you for sharing your review & star rating, I so appreciate it!

  1. Yes, I made this recipe in fact making it again today. Everyone loves it! They have no idea its Keto friendly.🤣

    1. The best!! I am excited to hear that this recipe is a hit, Sue. Thank you for sharing your review + star rating, I so appreciate it!

  2. 5 stars
    So good and easy to make. My go to cookie recipe. Family favorite and gave as gift to diabetic who said her blood sugar did not go up. My husband and I have one with cup of tea for afternoon treat. Thank you for this great recipe ❤️

    1. Aw this is great, Marianne. I am so glad these cookies are a hit for you and your family. Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I truly appreciate it!

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I’ve made it several times now using monkfruit sweetener and they turned out great. The only observation is that I only get about 9 not 18, they would have to be incredibly small to make 18 pieces.

    1. Yay! I am so glad you are enjoying these cookies, Diana. These cookies are supposed to be about 2 inches long, not sure if that is helpful. Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    1. Hi Tori – Unfortunately I do not, I haven’t tested this at a hight altitude so I am not sure what the adaptions would need to be.

      1. I live in the mountain west and don’t change recipes other than cake recipes for high altitude. My cookies always turn out just fine.

  4. 5 stars
    I made these with Swerve and they came out great. I really appreciate a tasty treat that won’t raise my blood sugar. Can’t wait for my mom to try them. Thanks so much.

    1. YUM! I am SO glad you are loving these cookies and they turned out amazing for you, Julie. Thank you for your review & star rating, I seriously appreciate it!

  5. How do you think these would taste with addition of some cinnamon?
    Thanks a bunch! We love all of your recipes that we have tried.

    1. Hi Barb – I bet it would be delicious. You could add a bit into the dry mixture. Let me know how these turn out for you!

  6. We love these cookies! A new favorite and very easy to make. My cookie scoop must be bigger than the recipe calls for because I always get about 26 for a double batch. Love them though!

    1. YAY! I am excited that you are loving these cookies, Nicole. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I truly appreciate it!

  7. 4 stars
    Just made these today, very easy and nice gluten free version of our favorite cookie. I added a tbs of water and they still came out a bit dry. Thank you for sharing!