So finally here are the first Christmas cookies on the blog yaaaay! 🙂 I actually have been baking quite a lot lately and have already few recipes to share with you over the coming weeks. Can you believe there are only 2 weeks left til Christmas?! We are still struggling with the “almost no snow” situation here in the Swiss Alps that is so not good for the winter season, I do hope we are going to have that White Christmas, otherwise everybody will be just depressed! I mean, if you come for your winter holidays on 1600 m altitude in the Alps you kind of want snow! Anyway, that’s out of our control so let’s go back to things that are in our control, like for example baking these delicious Almond crescent cookies! 😀
Those of you who follow me here on my Travelling oven know already that I changed my diet about 18 months ago because of the health/digestion problems and that I tend to cook and bake with healthy ingredients, those that don’t cause inflammation in the body and that are easier to digest and handle. However, that does not mean that I don’t enjoy treats and that sometimes I don’t have something that not necessarily falls into this category, there are always exceptions and Christmas period is definitely one of them! I mean, who can resist cookies right?
To be honest with you, last Christmas I did resist as I was really not feeling very well and it was so difficult for me to eat anything without developing painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Thanks God those days are gone now and I managed to help myself and heal through the way I eat. That’s why now I can have those treats and I can have a typical Christmas cookie with butter and sugar and all that. And it’s important not to be extreme in anything, including your diet and just listen to your body and do the best you can.
So now that we have that covered, let’s have some cookies!!! 🙂
There are hundreds of different recipes for Almond crescent cookies and this is the recipe that we use in my family from since when I can remember. Usually they are made for Christmas but you can basically make them whenever you want, they are delicate, with intense almond flavor, buttery and they melt in your mouth. You do need to have a bit of patience when kneading the dough as it takes a bit of time until it comes together (if you knead by hands like I do) but in about 10 minutes of kneading the dough becomes well combined. Also traditionally we roll the cookies in the granulated sugar so don’t skip that as it’s an important part of these cookies. Some people prefer powdered sugar (icing sugar) but we always did it with granulated one. Hope you’ll try these!
- For dough:
- 300 g (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 200 g (7/8 cup = slightly less than 1 cup) butter (I used lactose-free butter)
- 150 g (1½ cup) ground almonds (almond meal)
- 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
- 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar + 1 sachet (2 tsp) vanilla sugar
- Note: vanilla sugar is in many European countries sold in small sachets, it is very fine sugar and generally used for baking.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all the dough ingredients and work with your hands, kneading for about 10 minutes until the dough comes together and gets well combined. When you start kneading, the dough will be very crumbly but as you continue, it will become more smooth. If the dough is too dry/crumbly, you can add 2-3 tbsp of milk (I use almond milk).
- Wrap the dough with a transparent kitchen foil and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Prepare a large baking tray and line it with parchment paper.
- Using your hands take small amounts of dough and roll it into a small ball and than into crescent shape.
- Place on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes until just light golden brown (do not over bake them!).
- Remove from the oven and while the cookies are still hot, roll them in the mixture of sugar and vanilla sugar (or just use granulated sugar). Allow to cool completely before storing in a metal box / airtight container.