Crescent Cookies Are Traditional Austrian Cookies Often Given As Christmas Gifts

The highlight of any tea party is the plate of delicious almond crescent cookies. They are a basic tea cookie with their buttery pronounced almond flavor. Put the kettle on, brew a cup of Earl Grey or Almond Rocker, invite some friends and have a small tea party. 

Ingredients Yield 30 Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup almond flour 

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Beat the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix.

  3. Add the flour and the almond flour. Mix thoroughly.

  4. Take generous tablespoons of the dough (it will be crumbly) and roll it into a small ball — about an inch in diameter. Then shape it into a crescent. Place it onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until a light golden brown.

  6. Dust each cookie with powdered sugar.

Why Christmas Cookies?

Cookies can be traced back to the middle ages — much of it coincides with the wonderful spices that were available — nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper were just starting to be widely used, and dried exotic fruits like citron, apricots and dates added sweetness and texture to the dessert tray. These items, along with ingredients like sugar, lard and butter, would have been considered expensive delicacies by medieval cooks. Only on the most important holiday could families afford treats like these, which led to a baking bonanza to prepare for Christmas. And unlike pies or cakes, cookies could be easily shared and given to friends and neighbors. Our modern Christmas cookies date back to these medieval gifts.


Cookies have come a long way since medieval times, but some things have remained the same — traditional Christmas flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Gingerbread is a classic Christmas cookie with the same taste as back in the Middle Ages. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and mace made a sassy spicy taste, exactly like they would have had back then. Gingerbread uses molasses as a sweetener, because refined sugar was too expensive. So, basically, it’s all about the taste!!

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