Paniyiri, the annual Greek festival is on again in Brisbane this weekend. The website gives a few stats on the weekend speculating that 100,000 honey puffs will be consumed in the two days. Wow! I’m not sure if I’ll make it to the festival so I thought I’d bring a little bit of it to me in the form of Greek almond crescents. It was love at first bite when I discovered almond crescents. They’re a soft, buttery shortbread flavoured with almond and vanilla and drowned in icing sugar. What’s not to love? I adapted my recipe from one I found on Taste. My Greek almond crescents turned out just as I was dreaming they would. A word of warning – I think these are one of those things that you can’t stop after one so make them to share.
The ingredients are pretty simple. I substituted the almonds in the original recipe for almond meal, added a little more vanilla and swapped the brandy with almond extract. They were perfect.
Start the almond crescents by beating the butter, icing sugar and extracts together until they are smooth and creamy.
Add the flour and almond meal and fold it through until the dough is an even consistency. I started off using the dough hook but ended up folding it with a spatula. Place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
Use your hands to roll two tablespoons of dough into a short, chubby log shape and then turn the ends in to make the crescent shape. Place them on a baking-paper-lined oven tray or cookie sheet. The crescents don’t spread so you can place them pretty close together. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Bake the biscuits at 160C/320F fan-forced for 20 minutes or until they start to turn golden and are firm.
Transfer the baked crescents to a wire rack to cool slightly.
Dust the crescents generously with icing sugar and leave to cool completely. Some recipes make a mound of icing sugar and roll the biscuits around so they are literally drowned it in. I would have but I didn’t have enough icing sugar.
I bought the fish bowl in Greece a few years ago so thought it appropriate to use for Greek almond crescents. Enjoy!
Since I started writing this the weather has come in and it’s now raining so pretty unlikely I’ll make it to Paniyiri. Good thing I made the biscuits.
- 250g (9oz) butter
- ½ cup icing sugar plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2½ cups plain flour
- 40g (1 oz) almond meal
- In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar with the extracts until smooth and creamy.
- Add the flour and almond meal and fold it through until combined.
- Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/320F fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Roll two tablespoons of mixture into a short, chubby log and bend the ends in to make a crescent shape.
- Place the crescents on the tray and bake for 20 minutes or until they start to turn golden and are firm.
- Cool them slightly on a wire rack before dusting with icing sugar.