Growing up, shortbread cookies always had a special place in my heart. Every time we would fly to Japan, my mom would allow me to buy some Walker’s shortbread at the airport, so I could eat it as a snack on the airplane. I don’t know if you’ve ever had Walker’s shortbread, but it’s not actually all that great. Sure, the buttery flavor is delicious, but the cookies are just so dry! Despite their dryness, I still love the flavor, as it reminds me of traveling to Japan. The intense butter flavor is also strangely addictive despite how thirsty it makes you, sort of like movie theater popcorn. It makes you want to drink a gallon of water, but you just can’t stop eating it!
One year at Christmas, I discovered a new type of shortbread cookie. This one was covered in powdered sugar and was called a snowball. It tasted buttery and sweet just like Walker’s shortbread, but instead of being dry, it melted in your mouth! The classic shortbread flavor was there, but the texture was 10x better. I did some research and found out that there are many different names for this type of cookie – Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, and Viennese crescents, just to name a few. Years later, I remembered these cookies and how much I loved them, and I decided to try baking some at home! However, I made them a little differently. Instead of sticking to the regular flour, butter, and sugar recipe, I used vegan butter and gluten-free flour. It didn’t change the taste at all – in fact, it may have made them even better!
Pecan Crescent Cookies (Gluten-Free/Vegan)
These pecan crescent cookies are a classic that are perfect for Christmas parties! The melt-in-your-mouth feel and the sweet pecan flavor is sure to put a smile on your face.
- 1 cup vegan buttery spread 224g
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar plus 3/4 cup for coating
- 2 cups gluten free 1:1 flour blend I used Bob's Red Mill
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper) and set aside.
Combine the buttery spread, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, flour blend, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a standing electric mixer.
Mix on low speed to form a thick dough.
Stir in chopped pecans.
Use your hands to shape 1″ balls of dough into crescents and place them onto the lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then let cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes.
Place remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar into a bowl and carefully roll each cookie in the sugar to coat.