Thursday, March 7, 2013

Delicate Nut Crescents

Made these for the first time today. The dough was delicious and so were the cookies, made with toasted pecans. I sprinkled the cookies with powdered sugar, but sometime I want to try my idea of dipping the ends in chocolate.

Try the recipe and see what you think. I'm thinking these would be a good cookie to take to a holiday cookie exchange or to a tea but would not be a good cookie to send in a care package to a college student. Enjoy!

Delicate  Nut  Crescents
Makes about 60

1 cup butter at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or ¼ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup ground pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, or almonds
Sifted powdered sugar or melted semisweet chocolate

1. In a medium-large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.

2. Add the sugar and beat until combined.

3. Beat in the egg, whichever extract goes best with the nuts you are using, and the salt.

4. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.

5. Stir in the remaining flour and the ground nuts with a wooden spoon. Do not chill the dough.

6. Shape dough into short cigars, maybe ½ inch in diameter and two inches long. Curve into tight crescents as you place on ungreased baking sheets about an inch apart. Even without leavening, cookies will expand during baking.

7. Bake in 375°F oven for about 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Remove cookies from pans and cool on a rack.

8. When cookies are cool, either sift powdered sugar over them or dip one or both ends of each cookie in melted chocolate and allow chocolate to set completely while cookies rest on rack or waxed paper.

NOTE: Rich, shortbread-like cookies. Dough handles beautifully. May want to toast ground nuts. However, if you do, stir constantly over dry heat and take care not to burn them; burning can happen in a blink of an eye and make the nuts unusable in cookie dough. Allow toasted ground nuts to cool completely before adding to dough.

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