Almond Crescents


2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1-1/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup ground almonds


  • In a mixer or food processor cream butter and icing sugar. Add almond extract and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour, salt and ground almonds. 
  • Form into dough, wrap and chill 1/2 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C). 
  • Form into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Shape balls  into crescents. 
  • Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake one dozen at a time for about 12 to 15 minutes. 
  • Cool on wire rack. 
  • Drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate.

Makes 6 dozen cookies.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Although popularly referred to as a nut, the edible part of the almond is botanically not a true nut, but the seed of a drupe (a botanic name for a type of fruit), which consists of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed inside. Shelling almonds refers to removing the shell to reveal the seed. Almonds are commonly sold shelled, i.e. after the shells are removed, or unshelled, i.e. with the shells still attached. Blanched almonds are shelled almonds that have been treated with hot water to soften the seedcoat, which is then removed to reveal the white embryo. There are two forms of the plant, one (often with white flowers) producing sweet almonds, and the other (often with pink flowers) producing bitter almonds.
The bitter almond is rather broader and shorter than the sweet almond, and contains about 50% of the fixed oil which also occurs in sweet almonds. It also contains the enzyme emulsin which, in the presence of water, acts on a soluble glucoside, amygdalin, yielding glucose, cyanide and the essential oil of bitter almonds, which is nearly pure benzaldehyde. Bitter almonds may yield from 4–9 mg of hydrogen cyanide per almond. Extract of bitter almond was once used medicinally, but even in small doses effects are severe and in larger doses can be deadly; the cyanide must be removed before consumption.