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Vanilla Crescents

These pretty powdered cookies are one of three featured recipes in the 2013 MyNorth Holidays Guide. Read the backstory of this sweet tradition in the article Vanilla Crescents For Northern Michigan Holiday Celebrations.


  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 ounces toasted almonds
  • 2 1/2 ounces powdered sugar
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 1/2 ounces cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 2 egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine flour, almonds, powdered sugar, lemon zest and salt in the food processor and pulse until the almonds are ground. Add the butter and pulse for 30 seconds. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and pulse to combine. Place the dough on a clean work surface and knead till it’s combined. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350° and position one rack in the upper third and one in the lower third. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lightly flour your work surface and roll pieces of the dough into 2-inch ropes. Taper the ends slightly, and form the ropes into crescents. Carefully transfer the crescents to the baking sheets, about K inch apart.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes until the bottoms are golden and the tops pale blond, rotating the sheet trays half way through baking time to ensure even baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Fill a small bowl with confectioners’ sugar. While the cookies are still warm, coat them in the sugar and transfer to a clean sheet of parchment paper to cool slightly. Roll the cooled cookies in the sugar again and let cool completely.