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Cardamom Crescents Recipe

Cardamom Crescents Recipe

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  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Recipe Preparation

  • Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and pecans in a food processor; pulse until coarse meal forms. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and vanilla in a medium bowl until creamy, 2–3 minutes. Add nut mixture; beat to blend. Add dry ingredients; blend well (dough will be moist but still crumbly). Transfer to a work surface; knead to form a ball, about 4 turns.

  • Measure 1 rounded Tbsp. of dough; form into a ball, then roll into a 1 1/2"-long log. Gently bend into a crescent shape, pinching ends to taper (cookies may crack slightly). Repeat with remaining dough, spacing about 1" apart on prepared sheets.

  • Bake, rotating sheets halfway through baking, until bottoms are golden 12–15 minutes. Sift remaining 1 cup powdered sugar into a shallow wide bowl. Working in batches of about 8 cookies each, roll warm cookies gently in powdered sugar to coat. Transfer to wire rack to let cool. Roll or dust cooled cookies with powdered sugar. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Recipe by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez,

Nutritional Content

One cookie contains: Calories (kcal) 82.0 %Calories from Fat 55.9 Fat (g) 5.1 Saturated Fat (g) 2.4 Cholesterol (mg) 9.6 Carbohydrates (g) 8.4 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.3 Total Sugars (g) 3.8 Net Carbs (g) 8.0 Protein (g) 0.8 Sodium (mg) 15.6Reviews Section

Cardamom crescents

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line two baking trays with baking paper. Put the almonds on another baking tray and bake for 5 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool and finely chop.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium-sized bowl using electric beaters until pale and fluffy, then mix in the brandy, lime zest and the toasted almonds. Sift in the flour and cardamom and stir with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough.

3. Shape tablespoons of the dough into small crescents and place on the prepared trays well apart. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the trays for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To serve, sift over some of the icing sugar to cover the crescents completely. If storing the crescents, place in a tin or plastic box and cover entirely with the remaining icing sugar.

5. The crescents will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.

Recipe Summary

  • 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
  • 1 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom, allspice, pepper, and cloves in a large bowl. Place butter in a mixer bowl. Bring sugars, corn syrup, and water to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot sugar mixture over butter, then beat on low speed until combined.

Beat cream, egg, and vanilla in a bowl, then add to butter mixture. Beat on medium speed until well combined.

Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Divide dough into thirds, and flatten each into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic, and refrigerate overnight (or freeze for up to 1 month thaw in the refrigerator).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out 1 disk between lightly floured parchment to 1/8-inch thickness. Alternatively, the dough can be rolled out to 1/16-inch thickness for a crisper cookie. Place a lightly floured plastic faux-bois mat on dough, pattern side down. With rolling pin, lightly roll over mat to imprint dough. Carefully remove mat. Transfer dough on parchment to a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining disks.

Cut out shapes with holiday cookie cutters. (Alternatively, use tree template: Copy onto card stock, enlarging 200 percent. Cut out, place over dough, and cut along edge with the tip of a paring knife.) Transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, grouping similar sizes together and spacing them 1 inch apart. Roll out and cut scraps once. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. (If making small cookies, start checking after 8 minutes.) Transfer to wire racks, and let cool.

Cardamom crescent cookies

Every year, when I put together my holiday cookie baking list, crescent cookies are on the list. Every year that I bake my way through my holiday cookie list, I skip the crescent cookies. There's something about cookies that have to be formed by hand. I just can't muster up the courage most of the time. There was this one time, years ago, I made pretzel cookies with my mom, and obviously, the tiny pretzels had to be formed by hand. Turns out, I can't shape a tiny pretzel for the life of me. I just can't. They looked terrible. On the other hand, my mom could. Maybe I have a mental block. I see exactly how they should be done, but somehow the clear, easy steps don't make it to my hands. Oh well.

All that to say, I finally faced the crescent cookie, and I trusted Sweet Paul Magazine for my first attempt, not just because they look beautiful, but also because they are flavoured with cardamom, and we all know how much I love cardamom. Crescent cookies aren't actually hard to make. In fact, it's quite the opposite. And to be honest, crescents are much easier to form than tiny pretzels. Nothing to fear here, really. If you want to challenger yourself a little more, try these cranberry rugelach or these mincemeat tarts with homemade mincemeat. And if you prefer cutout cookies, try my gingerbread!

Rye, Walnut and Cardamom Crescents

Earlier today I heaved a rather large suitcase (heavy from Saturday’s frantic run around Brussels to buy various Christmas presents), a large bag, a laptop bag and a handbag onto the Thalys to take me home to my parents’ place in Essen, Germany. After 14 years of having to fly from various places in Europe to see my family, it is amazing to be able to take a direct train to go home, with no risk of delayed trains or bad traffic to get to the airport or long queues to get through security. Like every year, I am dividing my time between Germany and Italy and after spending Christmas with my family, I will be flying to Rome on Friday to join Alessandro and his friends and family for further Christmas celebrations and to ring in the New Year.

After what can only be described as a very ‘full’ year, I am looking forward to a bit of downtime over the break as well as seeing a bit more of Alessandro than I have been able to since he started his course in Turin back in September and has been busy preparing for various exams. I should be back in this space with a new post in the first week of January and, until then, I wish you all happy holidays and a wonderful start to the new year!

As a final hurrah before the holidays, I wanted to share the recipe for these Rye, Walnut and Cardamom Crescents. While Christmas is only a few days ago and you may have better things to do than bake cookies this late, me and my sister actually have a tradition of baking cookies as late as 23 December in the evening (since our work schedules would not always allow us to get together much earlier) and these cookies are quick and easy to prepare (truth be told I always make them in a food processor!). Also, these cookies are made with rye flour and I have been meaning to tell you about how I am slowly but surely growing rather fond of rye as an ingredient!

It started with a twist on treacle tart using stale rye bread in place of the breadcrumbs, then I bookmarked these Swedish Rye Cookies from Heidi’s blog, and only a few weeks ago I started working on a Lebkuchen recipe using rye bread. While Alessandro is studying in Turin, his pasta maker is on permanent loan to me, so I also bookmarked this Rye Pasta recipe (again, from Heidi’s blog) to try. Meanwhile, I finally got hold of rye flakes and am looking forward to trying it in baked porridge recipes and making a rye version of these Oat and Cardamom Florentines as well. However, pending my trying out new rye recipes, by far my favourite thing to do with rye flour at the moment are these Rye, Cardamom and Walnut Crescents.

While the recipe for these crescent-shaped cookies is but a simple twist on a Vanillekipferl recipe, a cookie traditionally eaten around Christmas in both Germany and Austria (where the flour, ground almonds and vanilla bean in the Vanillekipferl are swapped for rye flour, ground walnuts and a generous pinch of ground cardamom), the resulting cookies take on an entirely different character.

Vanillekipferl have mass appeal because no one, young or old, can resist a Vanilla-flavoured cookie with a crumb so buttery the cookies practically melt on your tongue. Using rye flour gives these crescents a different texture – somewhat coarser and sandier. Together with the dark colour of the rye flour and the complex flavour of the walnuts (earthy and fruity while verging on bitter thanks to the tannins in the skin of the walnuts), these crescents appear rather rustic at first bite. But at second bite, you are hit with the sweet and spicy flavour of the cardamom, which creates this perfect contrast to these otherwise rather rustic cookies. A final dusting of cardamom-laced icing sugar on these not overly sweet cookies and these crescents end up being rather moreish (I ate close to half a batch by myself when I first baked them and had to take the remainder to work to stop me from finishing the entire batch on my own). So if there is still any space left in your cookie tin, I would highly recommend you bake a batch of these crescents!

Rye, Walnut and Cardamom Crescents

Note: Firstly, if you are in the habit of baking with cardamom but have yet to buy cardamom seeds in their pods, I would recommend switching to buying cardamom seeds in their pods going forward. Cardamom has a very delicate flavour which fades quickly once the seeds are ground. To grind the cardamom, I simply squash the pods with a large knife and then grind the seeds in a pestle and mortar (and I keep sifting the ground cardamom until I have the required amount). Secondly, depending on the size of your crescents, the baking time will vary. For large crescents (approx. 15g of dough per crescent), the cookies will take ca. 15 minutes to bake and the recipe will yield ca. 20 cookies. If making smaller crescents, making the crescents will be a bit more fiddly (and you will end up with 30-plus cookies), but the baking time will reduce to ca. 10-12 minutes.

150g rye flour
40g ground walnuts
Seeds from 2 cardamom pods, finely ground
Pinch of salt
45g sugar
100g butter, cold cubed
1 egg

For dusting: 2 tbsp powdered sugar, seeds from 2 cardamom pods (finely ground).

Add the rye flour, ground walnuts, ground cardamom, pinch of salt and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.

Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture is the texture of sand. Lastly, add the egg and pulse briefly to combine.

Turn mixture out onto a floured surface and briefly work into a smooth dough, being careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to firm up for at least 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Oil your hands with vegetable oil (to stop the batter from sticking to your hands) and, using scant tablespoon-sized pieces of dough, form little crescents and place them on the sheet pans (the crescents will not spread much in the oven so there is no need to leave a significant amount of space between the cookies on the sheet pans).

Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on size) until the crescents are crisp on the outside and just starting to colour.

In a bowl mix the icing sugar with the ground cardamom. Dust over the crescents while they are warm. Leave the crescents to cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes before placing them on a cookie rack to cool completely.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon leaf chai tea, finely ground (see tip)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • Finely chopped crystallized ginger

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, chai tea, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough, half at a time, to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch crescent-shape cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks let cool. To serve, spread Butter Frosting on cookies sprinkle with crystallized ginger. Makes 48 cookies.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, ground
  • ½ cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, nuts, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, salt, and vanilla. Hand mix until thoroughly blended. Shape dough into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place sugar in a bowl or small container. With sharp chef's knife, split vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out seeds, and mix them into the sugar. Cut pod into 2 inch pieces and mix into sugar.

Remove dough from refrigerator and form into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball into a small roll, 3 inches long. Place rolls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet, and bend each one to make a crescent shape.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set but not brown.

Let stand 1 minute, then remove from cookie sheets. Place hot cookies on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with prepared sugar mixture. Turn gently to coat on both sides. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Just before serving, coat with more vanilla flavored sugar.

Cardamom Crescents

  • Author: Bake to the roots
  • Prep Time: 00:20
  • Cook Time: 00:11
  • Total Time: 01:45
  • Yield: 30 1 x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Cuisine: Germany


A delicious new take on classic vanilla crescent cookies: Cardamom Crescents! So good!


1/2 cup ( 120g ) walnut halves
1/2 cup ( 120g ) butter, softened
1/2 cup ( 60g ) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp . vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups ( 160g ) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp . ground cardamom
1/2 tsp . ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp . salt

confectioners’ sugar for dusting


1. Add the walnut halves to a mixer and mix until you get fine crumbs (but not a puree). Set aside.

2. Add the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract to a large bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Mix the flour with ground cardamom, cinnamon, and salt, then add to the bowl and mix until just combined. Add the ground walnuts and mix in. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log, wrap tightly and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour (or overnight).

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside. Take the roll of dough out of the fridge, cut it into thin slices and shape those slices into crescents (first, roll them into small sausages and bend them into the crescent shape) – place the rest of the dough back in the fridge. Place the crescents with some space in between on the baking sheet and bake for 10-11 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool down a bit on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and dust the still warm crescents with confectioners’ sugar. Let cool down completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. The crescents/kipferl should be stored separately from other cookies in a tin box and should be eaten within 4-5 weeks.

Cardamom Crescent Cookies

These are one of my favorite cookies! Light, buttery, nutty, and gorgeous!

Makes about 3 dozen

You will need:

21⁄2 cups all purpose flour

3⁄4 teaspoon cardamom, ground

3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup+2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups walnuts, very finelychopped (in food processor)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Whisk together the first 4 ingredients.
  3. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix, just until combined.
  6. Add walnuts and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
  7. Using 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie, shape into crescents and place on baking sheets about 2” apart.
  8. Bake, in batches if needed, until lightly golden. This will take about 15 minutes.
  9. Let cool for 5–10 minutes.
  10. Place the remaining 2 cups confectioners’ sugar in a wide, shallow bowl.
  11. When the crescents are cool enough to handle but still warm, roll in confectioners’ sugar, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Once cool, roll in confectioners’ sugar again.



Photography by PHOTOGRAPHY by Linda Xiao | FOOD STYLING+RECIPES by Molly Shuster | PROP STYLING by Maeve Sheridan

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About Paul

Paul “Sweet Paul” Lowe is guided by his grandmother, Mormor’s, motto: “fullkommenhet er kjedelig” -- “perfection is boring”. Born in Oslo, his Mormor and Great Auntie Gunnvor instilled in him a love for cooking and crafting that carried over to his career in New York as a food and props stylist, and eventually the creative guru behind the quarterly Sweet Paul Magazine. Flipping through the pages of his eponymous magazine, you’ll be riveted by beautiful culinary and crafting ideas that remain humble and accessible -- but never boring!

About the Magazine

Sweet Paul Magazine is a lifestyle magazine for anyone looking to make simple, elegant meals and stylishly easy crafts for the home. We're about homemade and handmade, and we're helping our readers create a one-of-a-kind style for life&rsquos every day occasions.

Pressnitz (Walnut Crescents)

In a large bowl combine butter, ricotta cheese, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until smooth. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon. Shape dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Fold in half roll to a 15x12-inch rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch squares.

In a small bowl combine walnuts, sugar, orange marmalade, orange peel, and cinnamon. Place a slightly rounded teaspoon of the walnut mixture on each dough square. Fold one corner of each dough square over the filling roll to the opposite corner and press to seal. If necessary, brush underside of each dough point with water before pressing to seal. Shape into crescents. Place crescents on prepared cookie sheets.

In a small bowl beat together egg and the water. Brush egg mixture over crescents.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack cool.

Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.


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