Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread Crescents — or, our anytime cookie

Make these over the weekend to have with tea all week, or even for that upcoming cookie exchange next month.

Make these over the weekend to have with tea all week, or even for that upcoming cookie exchange next month

(Photo: David Bagosy, Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

Serve these buttery cookies whenever you have someone over for tea, or keep a stash at work to have with your afternoon coffee orrrr make them a month in advance of your cookie exchange (you can store them in your freezer). These delightful crescents are sure to become your anytime cookie too.

Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread Crescents

By Josie Malevich

These crescents can be finicky to form into shape, so alternatively, you could just roll the dough into balls and flatten them with the tines of a fork.

These cookies bake more evenly on a cookie sheet than a rimmed baking sheet. If you don’t have one, turn a baking sheet upside down and presto change-o you have a cookie sheet. 

Feel free to substitute the hazelnuts with almonds or walnuts.


  • 1 cup all-purpose bleached flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp finely ground espresso or espresso powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup hazelnut flour or ground hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp frangelico liqueur or vanilla extract
  • ½ cup icing sugar, for rolling or dusting


Whisk together the all-purpose flour, espresso and salt; set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour mixture. Beat in the hazelnut flour just until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Pinch off roughly heaping tablespoon amounts of dough, and roll into 1 ¼-inch balls. On a flour-dusted wooden board, roll the balls into 3 x ½-inch logs, then shape them into semi-circles to make the crescents. Place them 2-inches apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Freeze them for 5 to 10 minutes, then bake until they are lightly golden around the edges and the tops are set, about 15 minutes. 

Remove the sheet from oven and let the baked cookies cool on the sheet for 15 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Roll the crescents in icing sugar, or dust them with icing sugar. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze them for up to 4 weeks.

Yield: Makes 16 cookies