Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pecan Crescents

There's going to be a lot of cookies from here until the New Year. A lot of cookies. So let's not waste anymore time and get right to them. I'm starting with pecan crescents since they have the longest shelf life due to being smothered in confectioners sugar right after they're taken out of the oven.  That gives them this super sweet, lip coating layer of goodness that melds so well with the nutty, crunchy pecan innards. Oh, I absolutely love these. I always hide some just for me. I know, I'm crazy! 

Pecan crescents (and pecan balls) were a standard in my Mother's Christmas cookie repertoire. This is a treasured heirloom recipe (thus the white sugar and white flour). When I was younger I didn't really like these as much as her butter cookies. Butter and sugar and sprinkles, yes! Butter and sugar and nuts, not so much. But as I got older, well like I said, cookie hiding.

pecan crescents

12 oz salted butter (3 sticks), room temperature if your room's not too hot
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 & 3/4 cups white flour
1 cup finely ground pecans
2-3 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally so there are no stray lumps of butter. Add the vanilla extract and mix to blend. Add the flour and pecans and mix well. It's going to be very dry, some people add water, I never do. Don't worry, when you go to roll the crescents the dough will come together. 

For each cookie roll roughly 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball and then roll it between your palms to form tube shape that is thinner at each end. Bend the tube to create a crescent shape. Repeat until all dough is gone. Set aside a large bowl with about 1 or 2 cups of confectioners sugar.

Bake for 6-7 minutes, spin the trays and bake another 6-7 minutes or until cookies have doubled in size and are very light golden around the edges. As soon as the cookies are warm enough to handle (which for me is right away!)  dredge them in the bowl of confectioners sugar and place them back on the pan to cool completely. Add more sugar to the bowl if needed. Makes about 4 and 1/2 dozen cookies. 

Did you start your Holiday baking yet? I'd love to hear what's on your cookie list!
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