Friday, December 25, 2009

Easy Almond Crescent Shortbread Cookies

My mom's recipe for almond crescents made a 5-dozen cookie batch and would require wrestling the stand mixer to the counter. So, I've experimented with 1/2 a batch using the food processor. Makes 1 cookie-sheet full of cookies (2 dozen + a couple).

  • 1/2 + 1/3 cups (5/6 cup)flour
  • 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • scant 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (less if you use salted butter or margarine)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened but still colder than room temperature
  • 1/2 cup or as needed powdered sugar
  1. Pulse flour, almonds, sugar & salt in the food processor until the ingredients are well mixed and the almonds are chopped.
  2. Add the stick of butter cut into pieces.
  3. Pulse and whir until it moves past the crumb stage and starts to form a dough.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  6. Using a knife, cut the dough into about 2 dozen small pieces and roll each into 2 1/2 inch logs and shape each into a crescent.  If some of the cookies are larger than others, pinch off the excess and form the scraps into additional cookies.
  7. Bake 15-18 minutes until golden with slightly browner edges.
  8. Let cool on the paper.
  9. When cool, roll each in powdered sugar.
Over the years, I've found that parchment paper is the solution for great cookies.  I have had lousy luck with cookie sheets and have scraped char off the bottoms of many a cookie.  A layer of parchment solves this problem!  Magic!  Golden brown cookie bottoms!

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.