Delicate filled Christmas cookies with a generous dusting of icing sugar. They keep very well for days or even over a week so can be made ahead of the festivities and stored in a tin for friends and visitor drop ins, they are lovely with a cup of coffee and a good old chat. The filling is very often jam but well-known with walnut or poppy seed paste too.
Ingredients – makes 60 small cookies
- 400g white flour (cake or pastry flour)
- 250g butter
- 200ml sour cream
- pinch of salt
- icing sugar for dusting (vanilla fused, if got it)
When filling with jam, the stronger flavoured, high fruit content thicker ones are good, the runny thin ones would be more difficult to use as filling. I used a nice zingy morello cherry jam here.
Walnut or poppy seed filling (to fill 30 of the crescents, half of the above batch)
- 200g either ground walnut or ground poppy seed
- 150 g caster sugar
- 150 ml water.
- pinch of cinamon
- grated lemon peel
To prepare the poppy-seed or walnut filling:
Boil the water with the sugar, combine with the ground walnut or poppy seed, lemon peel, cinnamon and cook for a minute. It should become a paste like thick porridge. Take off the heat, the paste needs to cool down completely even better to leave in the fridge overnight.
How to make the crescent cookies
- Crumble the soft butter and the flour together till well combined
- Add the sour cream and work till combines into a smooth dough ball
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F, Gasmark 4)
- Leave the dough to rest for 15minutes, then roll the dough into a thin 2-3mm sheet
- Cut out circles using a 6cm (2.5”) cookie cutter, now we are ready to make the crescent shapes.
- Dot a little of filling in the middle of a circle, fold it in half and go along the side of the pastry pressing with your finger to seal. Once the half circle with the filling inside is sealed fold over again lengthwise, just under the filling and form the cookie into a crescent shape.
- Lay out on a lined baking tray and cook for 12 minutes in the 180°C (350°F, gasmark 4) preheated oven
- The crescents are not going to grow in size much if at all during baking, and will remain pale in colour
- When ready, sieve a good coat of vanilla icing sugar onto them while still hot
- Once cooled, they are ready or go into an airtight container as they are best when a few days old