Our neighbor James requested for some home-baked cookies. He’s been good to us since he moved to our building, so he certainly deserves some reward of sorts…and his choice — cookies. His preference — soft cookies, mmm, probably the melt-in-the-mouth kind. So I tested this recipe of Walnut Crescents from Jeri Dry and Alix Engel’s book, Cookiemania. I love walnuts and always always substitute walnuts for pecans (guess it’s because I’m not from the South). Got some walnut in my fridge and I measured a cup and processed them in my mini-chopper for a finely-ground walnuts called for in the recipe. The recipe is very similar to Mexican wedding cookie, except that granulated sugar is used instead of confectioners’ sugar — and that made me really worried a bit. Recipe mentioned the dough will be stiff — and that was my next worry. Oh well, gotta give the recipe a try, at least. 2 Major changes though — reduce ground walnuts from 1 1/2 cups to just 1 cup and also reduce sugar from 2 2/3 cups (a lot, really!) to 2 1/2 cups (same measure as the flour). I was really really worried. Mixing the cookie dough was fast and easy, but molding or shaping to crescent shaped was a different story. The dough was crumbly and rolling a piece of dough into pencil strips without it crumbling was really a challenge. So perfect crescents were not the objective anymore….had to improvise by using mini scooper and shape the dough onto the baking trays. Made it to the last piece, but it was really really dry cookie dough to work with. Anyway, cookies baked nicely and resulted in crispy and crunchy cookies.
CRISPY AND CRUNCHY WALNUT CRESCENTS
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup ground walnuts
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 F (Well I started heating the oven after I formed the cookies).
Cream the butter. Add vanilla and then the nuts. Blend well. Add sugar. Mix. Add flour and beat with electric mixer until well blended.
Using a mini ice cream scooper, form cookie dough into a ball. Roll dough between your fingers to form pencil shapes. Transfer to un greased cookie sheet (I lined it parchment paper) and work (roll) gently, bringing ends of cookies down to form a crescent (or half moon shapes).
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until bottom sides of cookies turning light brown. Remove from oven and roll in confectioners’ sugar while still warm (I used tongs).
Makes about 4 dozens cookies
Too crispy for James….so see my next post for a much softer, melt-in-the-mouth cookies I made for him.