December 16, 2008

Vanilla Crescents

On the off chance that your sweet tooth hasn't totally revolted and left for a healthier habitat, here's another one of the Christmas cookies I've been making this year. They are really simple and seem to be a huge hit with everyone. They are sweet and buttery and a great cookie to add to your repertoire. They are especially great because you only need 5 ingredients to make them. Perfect when you have somehow run out of eggs or other fancy ingredients and don't feel like braving the cold to get more.

Personally, I was out of about everything except these five ingredients and there was no chance I was leaving the apartment to run to the grocery. No, the weather in NYC was a balmy 53℉ yesterday, so it wasn't the cold. Let's just say although living 3 blocks from Bloomingdales is a blessing most of the year, it is not so fabulous a week before Christmas. Thank-you tourists for visiting our lovely city and helping our local economy, but please, please, don't just stand with you and 10 of your friends in the very middle of a busy sidewalk. If everyone visiting NYC knew they should move to the side and not create a major sidewalk traffic jam, I guarantee the perception of new yorkers would be much sunnier. Ahh - I feel much better having gotten that off my chest. :)

But back to the cookies - although these are very simple to assemble, you have to be extra careful when baking them, because they can get too toasty very quickly. I learned that the hard way when I had to trash my entire first batch. I also think the original recipe is completely off. It called for them to be baked at a higher temperature and for about 10 minutes longer than I ended up ever having to do for a batch. In the recipe below, I've tweaked it to the times that I ended up using. But if you attempt these, check them often and pull them out before they start to brown at all - by that point you will be too far gone. Just check to make sure that they are slightly firm to the touch.

Vanilla Crescents

2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup Confectioners' Sugar, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tablespoons pure Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 cups AP Flour
pinch of Salt
  • Preheat oven to 325℉; place one rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven, and one in the lower 1/3.
  • In an electric mixer, combine the butter and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar for 5 minutes.
  • Add vanilla, flour and salt just until combined.
  • On a floured surface, spoon out tablespoons of the dough and roll into 3-inch strips. Form the strips into crescent shapes (make sure the ends aren't smaller than the middle or else they will brown quicker).
  • Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes (switching oven position halfway), or until the bottoms are golden and the tops are pale blond.
  • Allow to cool on racks for 10 minutes.
  • Place remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar in a small bowl (adding more as necessary), and roll warm cookies in it to coat.
  • A few minutes later, repeat the sugar rolling process and allow the cookies to cool completely.


Elra said...

Oh, I was just making this crescents cookies this weekend, but mine was only use almond and no flour. Unfortunately, they disappeared before I get a chance to take a photo. Oh well, that's happen to me a lot when all family are here.
Have a wonderful season!

Tanya said...

These are always a must on the Christmas cookie platter!

Grace said...

i don't think my sweet tooth will ever revolt. never ever. :)
meanwhile, excellent use for your measuring tape. :)

Sara said...

These look great, very festive!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Elra - I think almond is probably the more traditional flavor, because every time I gave these to someone they kept asking why they were vanilla instead of almond!

HI Tanya - Agreed!

Hi Grace - Let's hope it never does!! It's funny - I actually pulled out the measuring tape after I burnt a few batches to makes sure I was doing them right! :)

Hi Sara - Thanks so much!

Lo said...

These look like my kind of cookie! Lots of vanilla... and probably not TOO sweet.

The Blonde Duck said...

Wanted to stop in and say hi! These look great!

kickpleat said...

these look really good and perfect for the holidays.

Emily said...

These cookies look SO good.

PS - I'm coming to live with you in NYC.

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

They look delicious, perfect for the winter-y holiday season. :)

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Lo - They aren't terribly sweet, which is surprising since they are rolled in sugar!

Hi Blonde Duck - Thanks!!

Hi Kickpleat - Thanks! They seem to make every cookie plate I've seen.

Hi Emily - Yay!! I'm sure you will love it here. Please let me know if you need help with anything!! I'll definitely hook you up with some "to eat" suggestions. :)

Hi Ari - Thanks so much!

Foodista said...

Wow, That looks fun!I'd like to invite you to take some time to drop by at Foodista and share the info on this wonderful food with us. We have launched an online food and cooking encyclopedia ala wikipedia.Don't forget to register first so we know who to thank the recipe for. Thanks! See you there!

Stacey Snacks said...

I love this kind of Christmas cookie!
Happy Holidays!
Stacey Snacks

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Foodista - Thanks for letting me know!

Hi Stacey Snacks - Happy Holidays to you too!