A little relic from the holidays to share with you today — these almond crescent cookies (or moon cookies, as we called them growing up). So delicious and quick to make, I’m currently on batch #8 and I’m sure it won’t end there… Care to join me? :)
I’m not sure why I haven’t tried remaking these without the sugar, butter, and gluten before. I’ve always loved them growing up. Last year I got several reader requests for them, but never made it to actually making them (my holiday to-make list was just waaay too long…). But this year I’ve been seeing them everywhere and felt like the time has come.
I decided to go for a slightly different version however. Instead of butter I used almond butter, instead of wheat — sorghum (or rice flour — both are nice), and instead of sugar — maple (I also tried it with agave — worked great; coconut sugar — not a fan, the flavor is too pronounced). No oil, no gums or funny flours. No chilling, waiting, cutting… Worked a treat. Not quite as sweet as the traditional powdered sugar-packed version, but a nice wholesome substitute that was a real winner at the holiday table.
These come together very easily — process the batter in a food processor, shape into moons and bake! The dough should be smooth and pliable and easily rolled into little balls in your hand. If it’s too sticky for that, add a touch more flour, if it’s too dry / crumbly add a tiny touch more almond butter (or a small splash of water — a tip that one of my readers shared worked well for them) and re-process.
The shaping technique is really up to you. I just picked up little bits of the dough (about 1½ tbsp), rolled it into a ball, then into a little log, then rounded it into a crescent and shaped and flatted a little to create the shape I like most. Nothing fancy, really, but somehow super enjoyable. I think part of the reason I made so many batches is because I found the process of shaping these super relaxing… a little baking therapy is always nice during the holidays…
If you like your cookies softer, they can be ready in as little as 15 mins, but moon cookies are traditionally more dry and crumbly, so I baked mine for about 25 mins (just keep an eye out so they don’t burn), or anywhere in between that.
And lastly, since traditionally these are coated with powdered sugar, I sprinkled mine with my favorite substitute — dairy-free powdered coconut milk, which made for beautiful wintery holiday cookies at the table. They made beautiful tea cookies and were scarfed down quickly by company, which of course only meant I had to make some more… :)
A gluten and dairy free recipe for traditional holiday almond crescent cookies. Super simple and comes together in minutes.
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 4 tbsp almond butter
- 2½ tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp pure almond extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- dairy-free coconut milk powder for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Process all cookie ingredients in a food processor into a uniform sticky mixture. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more almond butter and process again until the mixture begins to stick together and start turning into a ball in the processor (you want it to be soft and pliable, but firm enough that you can roll it into a ball). Grab about 1 tablespoon’s-worth with your hands and roll into a ball, then a little log, then shape into a crescent with your hands. Place on the cookie sheet and repeat with remaining mixture, spacing the cookies about ½” apart.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 25 mins (or only 15 for soft cookies). Cool completely on a wire rack, dust with coconut milk powder and enjoy!
This post contains an affiliate link to my favorite powdered sugar substitute — dairy-free powdered coconut milk.