Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth walnut crescent cookies are easy to make and taste divine. Covered in powdered sugar they are perfect for the holiday season and also make a great gift.
Walnut crescent cookies are usually made for Christmas in many European countries. Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, just to name a few … They might vary slightly from country to country but everywhere they taste divine so I hope you give this recipe a go!
In my family we bake walnut crescent cookies in the middle of December, because they are one of those cookies that last long when stored properly. That way we can tick them off of our TO-DO list and move on to another Christmas baking project.
6 reasons to make walnut crescent cookies:
- Easy prep – No special tools or techniques are needed.
- Ready in minutes – Baking takes about 8 minutes!
- Egg-free – This walnut crescent cookie recipe does not use any eggs.
- Perfect for gifting – Pack them in a nice box either store-bought or homemade, add a tag and you are done!
- Last up to 2 weeks when stored properly.
- Make ahead – Dough can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge, if needed.
More Christmas cookie recipes for you:
How to make crescent cookies with walnuts
Get a large mixing bowl and place the flour, sugar and ground walnuts in. Make sure to sift the flour and sugar first. At this stage I give everything a quick mix and also add vanilla essence (this is completely optional so it can be easily omitted).
The last ingredient to add is butter. Grate it first so it is easier to form a dough. Use your hand to do it. It’s easy and no special technique is needed here. Just bring all the ingredients together.
Now take a small piece of the dough and roll it into a sausage. I use the width of my hand as a guide so they all have roughly the same length. As for the thickness, I prefer thinner ones so about 0.5 inch/1.3 cm.
Shape each sausage into a crescent and place it onto a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone mat. Bake them in a preheated oven at 400°F/200°C for about 8 minutes.
These walnut crescent cookies will be still soft when you take them out from the oven. They should be pale, not brown. Because every oven bakes differently I highly recommend keeping an eye on them the first time you bake them.
Tips for making walnut crescent cookies
- The dough can be made ahead and kept in the fridge overnight. You will need to bring it to room temperature the following day though. This can be done either by leaving it on a kitchen counter until soft (this might take a while) or cutting the dough into smaller pieces and kneading them until soft.
- My mom uses a combination of vanilla sugar and powdered sugar for coating these walnut crescent cookies. However, you can completely omit the vanilla sugar, if you don’t have it on hand.
- The dough comes together relatively quickly. I grate the cold butter which makes the kneading easier.
- You can dip the tips in melted chocolate!
- If you don’t feel like dipping each walnut crescent cookie in powdered sugar, put the sugar in a sieve and dust them generously. This will definitely reduce your prep time.
- Do not try to remove the hot cookies from your baking tray as at that point they will be pretty soft. They need to be cooled down completely before you move them.
This is an old post that has been updated with new photos, video and detailed instructions.
Want to see how to make crescent cookies? Watch the video!
Walnut Crescent Cookies
- In a large mixing bowl combine sifted flour, sifted powdered sugar and ground walnuts. Add vanilla essence and mix.
- Grate chilled butter and add it to the bowl. Using your hand, combine all the ingredients until you form dough. This will take about 2-3 minutes.
- Wrap in a plastic wrap or put it into a Ziploc bag and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge (See note 7).
- Meanwhile: In a small bowl, mix the extra powdered sugar with vanilla sugar and set aside for later.
- Take a piece of the dough (the size of a small walnut) and roll it into a ball and then into a sausage (about 0.5 inch/1.5 cm in diameter and about 3 inch/8 cm long – cut off any excess if too long).
- Shape the sausage into a crescent and place onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Repeat until you have used up all the dough.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F/200°C for about 8 minutes.
- When done, let them cool down completely on the tray before transferring them onto a plate and dipping them in powdered sugar (See note 9).
- These cookies will last up to 2 weeks if stored in an airtight container in a cool place.
- This recipe can be easily doubled.
- Vanilla essence – you can omit it, if you don’t have it on hand or just use vanilla sugar mixed with powdered sugar for coating.
- The baking time may vary slightly. This will depend on the size and thickness of your cookies as well on the oven. I recommend keeping an eye on them, especially when making them for the first time.
- Butter – use real butter to make them!
- Powdered sugar (US) = Icing sugar (UK).
- The dough can be prepared ahead and stored in a Ziploc bag in the fridge overnight. The following day, take it out and let it sit at room temperature for a while until it gets soft. The chilling can also be omitted. Just note that the cookies may spread a little bit more (this will also depend on how long you knead it and what the temperature in your kitchen is).
- You should get about 20-25 cookies out of this recipe.
- The cookies will be still soft when you take them out from the oven but will harden as they cool down.
- For more detailed explanation always read the text above this recipe card.