Nothing could be more perfect in its unassuming splendor as these almond crescents. They look like nothing special, but then you bite in, and the cinnamon sugar yields to the tender butter crumb, and then that yields to the subtle flavor of ground almonds. And then it’s gone, and you find yourself reaching for another, thinking, “well, that was so small, surely one more won’t hurt,” and before you know it you’ve polished off a dozen and wonder what happened. A couple dozen of these, wrapped in red tissue paper makes a gorgeous gift for someone you really love.
Adapted from Rose’s Christmas Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen crescents
2 ounces (about 2/3 cup) blanched slivered almonds
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 2/3 cup all- purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, grind the almonds and sugar together until the almonds are very fine. Add the butter a couple tablespoons at a time, with the motor still running, and process until smooth and creamy. Add the flour and salt, and scrape the sides of the bowl. Pulse the processor a few times, just until the flour is incorporated.
Scrape the dough into a bowl, and cover with plastic. Refrigerate for two hours or until firm.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Roll a piece of dough into a ball less than an inch in diameter. Roll it between your palms, until it is in the shape of a cylinder, with slightly tapered ends on both sides, about 3 inches long by 1/2 inch thick. Form each cookie into a crescent shape and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, about an inch apart.
Bake 14-16 minutes, or until set but not brown. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them while warm into a bowl of cinnamon sugar (see topping, above), turning gently to coat thoroughly, one at a time.
Keep in an airtight container for up to one month.