Almond Crescents Or Hazelnut Crescents
3/4 cup Blanched Slivered Almonds
1/8 cup (2 TB) Sugar
1 lb Unsalted Butter
1 3/4 cup Confectioner’s sugar (Divided)
2 egg Yolks
2 TB Amaretto di’Saronna
1 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 cups Cake Flour
1 cup AP Flour
3/4 tsp Bakers Ammonia
Toast almonds VERY lightly at 350 for only 7-8 minutes. Don’t toast until golden or your cookies will not be pale enough.
Cool almonds completely, then place in a food processor with 1/8 cup sugar and pulse until finely ground.
Cream butter until fluffy, add 1/4 cup plus 2 TB confectioners sugar and continue beating for 2 – 3 minutes
Add Egg Yolks, Amaretto, Almond extract and Vanilla extract; Beat until smooth.
Mix in the Almonds, Flour and Bakers Ammonia until well combined. (If dough is too soft, add up to 1/4-cup additional flour)
Chill for 4 hours
Shape tablespoons full of dough between fingers into crescent shapes.
Place on an un-greased baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes; the cookies will still be very pale in color.
Remove fro sheet to a wire rack placed in/over a jellyroll pan.
Place remaining Confectioner's sugar in a sifter or a sieve.
While cookies are still hot, apply a coat of Confectioner's sugar to the tops.
This step will be repeated 2 more times wait 20 minutes between each application of confectioner’s sugar.
Pairs Well With
A GREAT variation of this (Which is, personally, my favorite, and I tend to do it more often than not) is to replace everything almond in this recipe, with hazelnuts. I was lucky enough to find hazelnut extract about 3 years ago, simply use hazelnut extract, Frangelico instead of Amaretto and toasted hazelnuts. Granted, you will have to toast the hazelnuts in the oven for much longer (about 12 minutes) in order to rub as much of the skins off as possible with a towel (since I have never seen ‘blanched’ hazelnuts available in any store). The resulting cookies will not be nearly as pale as the almond ones, but if you are a hazelnut freak like I am, they are positively ‘sinful good’.