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Culinary Canvas: Almond Crescents

December 21, 2012

The inspiration for this month’s recipe is a crescent-shaped tobelo, a sacred object from Indonesia used to connect with ancestral spirits. In my family, baking serves as a connector between generations, and at no time is this more true than the holiday season. In that spirit, be sure to bake this crescent-shaped cookie with your family and let everyone explore their artistic side with the decorations!

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Crescent-shaped ornament (tobelo), 19th Century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Nasher Foundation in honor of Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher

Almond Crescents

Yields about 60 cookies
Level: Easy

Cookies:

1 cup blanched slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping:

2 ounces good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Decorations: crushed candy cane, chopped toasted almonds, coarse sugar, sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cookies: Place almonds in food processor and process into a fine crumb. In a medium bowl, stir together processed almonds with flour. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add flour mixture to mixer in three batches, mixing on low speed until just combined.

To form cookies, scoop off about a tablespoon of dough then roll between hands to shape into a log about 3 inches long. Place on baking sheet, then pull ends down and pinch to form a crescent shape, leaving about 1 inch between each cookie. When sheet is full, gently press down each cookie to flatten slightly. Bake until golden on bottom, about 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet then transfer to metal rack to cool completely.

Topping: Whisk dark chocolate in a glass bowl set over a small pot of simmering water until mostly melted, then remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Once cookies have cooled, dip one end of each into chocolate then sprinkle with desired decoration. Place on wax paper to dry. Repeat process with white chocolate.

 
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Recipe adapted from Very Merry Cookie Party.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrea Severin permalink
    December 21, 2012 4:35 pm

    Sarah, the connection to the Indonesian tobelo is great, and the cookies taste amazing!

    • Sarah Coffey permalink
      December 21, 2012 4:36 pm

      Thanks Andi, glad you liked them!

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