Almond Crescent Cookies / Mezzalune


Buttery, sandy, biscuit-like are the words that come to mind when describing the wonderful taste and texture of these crescent-shaped almond cookies from Umbria that remind me of the Russian tea cakes that my mother used to make at Christmas time.

The secret to the texture of this cookie is to grind the almonds very fine, best done in a food processor. These are so delicate that care must be taken when removing the cookies from the baking sheet. This is where patience is definitely a virtue. Allow these to cool on the sheet for at least 10 minutes, otherwise they will crumble, and use a gentle hand when coating them in confectioner’s sugar.


  • INGREDIENTS1 cup (4 ounces) blanched, slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar


  1. DIRECTIONSPreheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Grind the almonds with the sugar in a food processor until the almonds are the consistency of fine bread crumbs. Add the flour, salt, and butter to the bowl of the food processor and pulse two or three times. With the motor running, add the almond extract and continue processing until the mixture begins to leave the sides of the bowl and forms a soft ball of dough.
  4. Carefully remove the dough from the bowl and gather it into a ball. To make the crescent shape, pinch off walnut size pieces of dough and roll them into 4-inch long ropes the thickness of your middle finger. Form a crescent or "C" shape and place them on the baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes. They should be firm to the touch when done, but not too browned looking. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet to firm up.
  6. Sift the confectioner's sugar into a 1-quart bowl. Roll each crescent in the confectioner's sugar, coating them well.

This recipe was featured on Season 12 - Episode 1211.

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I don’t have a food processor. Can I crush the almonds with a meat mallet and then use a pastry cutter to for the dough?

Gia Giovenco

i have been watching you show and books for years, i just found your sight by accident and love it , but could you make the recipes printer friendly , i don’t like all that adversting, thank you just a suggestion.

delores palazzolo

My husband and I have been watching MaryAnn for many years and we do have her books . We find her delightful and very informative.She is a true pleasure. D. Palazzolo

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