These traditional German cookies take their name from the German word for “croissant,” whose crescent shape they share. They are covered in confectioners’ sugar, which makes it seem as if they are almost melting in your mouth when you eat them and gives them a festive look perfect for holiday platters. The flavor of this simple cookie is made more complex by almond flour and vanilla extract. The dough is soft, so work with only one-third of it at a time, keeping the rest refrigerated.
About 50 cookies
- 14 tablespoons (200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons (80 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons (100 grams) almond flour
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups (240 grams) confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on low speed until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Add the almond flour and mix until combined, then add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the all-purpose flour and salt and mix until everything just comes together. If the dough is too warm to roll out immediately, remove it from the bowl, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into three batches and keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, while you work with one batch at a time.
On a floured surface, divide the dough into several pieces and roll it out into strips that are slightly less than ½ inch thick. With a paring knife, cut the dough into pieces about 2½ inches long, about ½ inch wide, and tapered at both ends. Bend the strips into crescent shapes and transfer them to the baking sheets. These cookies can spread, so keep them about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until they turn a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely on the baking sheet or a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batches of dough.
Pour the confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl and carefully roll each cookie in it until coated. You can also leave the cookies on the baking sheet or cooling rack and heavily sift the confectioners’ sugar over them instead. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.
Text excerpted from Payard Cookies, © 2015 by François Payard. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.