Rose’s Crescents

Recipes from The Cookie Bible

by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Rose’s crescents
(Courtesy of Harper Collins)

I first made this totally exquisite cookie almost sixty years ago—it was my first cookie success. The high proportion of ground almonds to flour (1 part almonds to 3 parts flour) makes this buttery cookie perfectly tender and delicate without falling apart. It remains one of my top favorites; in fact, if I had just one cookie to crave, this would be it.

Makes 30 2 ½ inch by 1 inch cookies.


Makes: 280 grams

unsalted butter

113 grams

8 tablespoons (1 stick)

blanched sliced almonds

28 grams

1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon

sugar, preferably superfine

33 grams

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons

bleached all-purpose flour

118 grams

1 cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) minus 1 teaspoon

fine sea salt


1/8 teaspoon


  1. Thirty minutes to 1 hour ahead, cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces. Set on the counter to soften.
  2. Make the dough: In a food processor, process the almonds and sugar until the almonds are ground very fine. With the motor running, add the butter one piece at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour, sprinkle the salt on top, and pulse in just until incorporated.
  3. Scrape the soft, sticky dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Press it into a thick disc. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until the dough is firm.
  4. Preheat the oven twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the middle level. Set the oven at 325°F / 160°C.
  5. In a small wide bowl whisk together the sugar and cinnamon to form the topping.
  6. Divide the dough into quarters (about 70 grams each). Rewrap three of the pieces and refrigerate them while you shape the first piece.
  7. Allow the first piece of dough to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, or until softened slightly. Then knead it between floured hands until malleable.
  8. Pinch off ½ tablespoons of dough (about 9 grams each) and roll each piece into a 1 inch ball.
  9. Spoon a little flour into a custard cup. Gently roll each ball in the flour to coat it lightly, then roll it on a lightly floured dough mat or counter into a cylinder about 2½ inches long, tapering the ends. Gently curve each cylinder into a crescent shape, and place the crescents a minimum of 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap.
  10. Repeat with the second piece of dough to fill the cookie sheet.
  11. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway around. Continue baking for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are firm to the touch but not beginning to brown.
  12. Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, until just warm.
  13. Use a thin pancake turner to lift each cookie and gently dip it on both sides in the cinnamon sugar topping, then transfer to another wire rack. Cool completely.
  14. Repeat with the second batch, using the remaining pieces of dough.