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Extra-Special Cashew Crescents

“These nutty shortbread crescents are simply scrumptious. Everyone will love them, whether glazed or dusted with powdered sugar. Cashews add that extra special taste.” —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    6 dozen


  • 1-2/3 cups lightly salted cashews
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • Chopped lightly salted cashews and additional confectioners' sugar, optional


  • Place cashews in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Combine flour, salt and chopped cashews; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  • Divide dough in half; shape each into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Using a floured scalloped round 3-in. cookie cutter, cut a semicircle from one corner of the dough, forming the inside of a crescent shape. Reposition cutter 1-1/4 in. from inside of crescent; cut cookie, forming a crescent 1-1/4 in. wide at its widest point. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill and reroll scraps if desired.
  • Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 6-7 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Combine the confectioners' sugar, milk and remaining vanilla; spread or drizzle over cookies as desired. Sprinkle with chopped cashews if desired. Leave some cookies plain or sprinkle them with additional confectioners' sugar if desired. Let iced cookies stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 79 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 34mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch.
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  • BetseyWR
    Oct 15, 2015

    Made these and took them to work for a snack. Gone in a heartbeat.

  • chubpac
    Nov 16, 2013

    Just made these and had no problems. I wonder if those who did have issues were measuring the nuts after chopping rather than before. A wonderful cookie for tea parties too!

  • alice66
    Nov 12, 2012

    I saw these cookies were the grand prize winner for one of the Christmas cookie contests in TOH so I thought I would try them. Honestly, I thought they looked kind of bland by the picture but these cookies taste even better than they look! I made a batch for my dad and a batch for my sister and her roommate. Everyone loved them! I thought they were delicious too and my husband and kids really liked them too. I like that you can make them look fancy with the variety of toppings and coatings. I will be making these again this Christmas. :-)

  • jules2284
    Dec 16, 2011

    Made these Christmas 2010 - HUGE HIT! Made them as pictured, with a scalloped biscuit cutter, and iced/decorated in the same varieties. Only downside is that its tedious (sp?), and it makes a buttload of cookies. They came out perfect though, and i'd say they are an easy cookie to bake. Will be making them again this year. Wouldnt change a thing.

  • kathybunny
    Feb 24, 2011

    I give it five stars because I just spent an hour going through all of my cookbooks trying to remember where I had gotten the recipe the first time - My family loved them!

  • shirnkerbelle
    Dec 18, 2010

    Tried the recipe again; measured exactly, chopped the cashews instead of using the food processor. First of all, the cookies do have a great flavor, unlike any other Christmas cookie I made this year. However, the recipe is still little touchy. The first rolling/cutting baked like the greasy lace ones I mentioned previously. On the next rolling, and those after, I added a good bit of flour while rolling. These cookies more closely resembled the picture. My verdict: the recipe needs more flour.

  • KScales
    Dec 16, 2010

    For those who have had trouble with this recipe, we're wondering if they're grinding the cashews too finely and releasing too much oil, which will affect the texture of the dough. We will modify the directions to finely chop the cashews instead. This change will be updated soon.Taste of Home Test Kitchen

    Dec 13, 2010

    This recipe is SO buttery and delightful! I can't even imagine why some people say they are greasy or fall apart. Mine look just like the picture except I didn't put frosting or powdered sugar on them. I like them just the way they are, with cashew pieces broken on the top. I ground up cashews for the dough, not like powder, but just a step above that, more finely ground. I most definitely will make them again next year!!

  • LornaJacobs
    Dec 12, 2010

    Don't understand the problems--mine came out perfect!! The cookie cutter specified did not yield the correct amount of cookies, they were too large, but the 2 1/2" one did. I have spacing rubber bands that go on my rolling pin so they are all uniformly 1/4"--I think the failures were too thin? They are addicting--made wonderful cookies for a holiday cookie exchange & were loved by all. Used real butter, regular cashews--(did you grind them to a powder like flour? ) Dough or sheets were too warm--line sheets with parchment paper also--makes them easy to cool completely before moving off the sheets. They are delicate if handled too roughly, but flakey to eat.

  • shirnkerbelle
    Dec 11, 2010

    I too am a professional baker. The cookies were made exactly as directed, and every batch made thin, greasy lace cookies. It was a fairly expensive failure and I am not sure I want to try it again. Were the cashews used in the test recipe dry roasted? That might account for all of the extra oil.