From America's Test Kitchen
When nut crescent cookies are well made, they can be delicious: buttery, nutty, slightly crisp, slightly crumbly, with a melt-in-your mouth quality. Too often, however, they turn out bland and dry. We wanted to develop a recipe that would put them back in their proper place.
The ratio of 1 cup butter to 2 cups flour in almost all of the recipes we looked at is what worked for us. We tried three kinds of sugar in the batter: granulated, confectioners’, and superfine. The last resulted in just what we wanted: cookies that melted in our mouths. In determining the amount, we had to remember that the cookies would be sweetened once more by their traditional coating of confectioners’ sugar. Before rolling them, we let the cookies cool to room temperature; coating them with sugar while still warm results in the pasty outer layer we wanted to avoid.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
Choosing almonds for your cookies automatically presents you with a choice: Whether to use them raw for traditional almond crescent cookies that are light in both color and flavor, or to toast them to enhance the almond flavor and darken the crescent. Toast hazelnuts and almonds in a preheated 350 degree oven until very lightly browned, stirring twice during baking, 12 to 14 minutes. You can buy superfine sugar in most grocery stores. You can also process regular granulated sugar to superfine consistency in about 30 seconds in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.