Thursday, January 31, 2013

Almond Crescents

Lately, I've been exploring new things to bake to have with my afternoon tea.  When I saw this recipe, I didn't hesitate to try it out!

I started by measuring out sliced almonds and pouring them into a food processor.  I blended until it was very fine.

I combined the ground almonds with flour and sugar, then added vanilla.

Next, I mixed in 1 cup of melted butter (note that the recipe calls for room temperature butter, but I didn't have any, so I was forced to melt it.)  I mixed it in with my fingers until I had a ball of dough.  The dough has to chill in the fridge for an hour.

Even after an hour after chilling, the dough was still extremely fragile and crumbled at the slightest touch (perhaps because my butter was melted and not room temp?)  For this reason, I was unable to roll the dough into balls, then out into rolls, and then into crescent shapes.  Instead, I very carefully shaped the dough into crescent-ish shapes, which I think were probably thicker than the recipe intended.  This was tedious because the dough literally crumbled at the slightest touch.

I added sliced almonds to the top of only two, assuming the kids wouldn't want almonds on theirs.

I baked them on ungreased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

The effort was well worth it, because these are delicious!  I wasn't sure what to expect the consistency to be, but I would describe them as cookie-like.  My 6-year-old loves them.  And they were smashing with a spot of tea. :)

Almond Crescents
2 cups unblanched almonds
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sweet butter, room temperature
Powdered sugar (optional)

-Grind 1 3/4 cups nuts very fine.  Chop the remaining 1/3 cup.
-Mix flour, sugar and ground nuts in a bowl.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  With your fingers, work in the butter until thoroughly blended.  Chill the dough for 1 hour.
-Roll the dough into balls, about 1 3/4 inches in diameter.  Form into rolls about 3 1/2 inches long, then into crescents.  Press the tops of the crescents into the remaining chopped nuts.
-Place them on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Cool on the pan for 7 minutes (exactly!), then remove to a rack.
-While the crescents are still warm, roll them in the powdered sugar.

Variations: Use hazelnuts instead of almonds, or a combination of the two.  You can use 1 tsp of cinnamon instead of vanilla.

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