Homemade food gifts to share for the holidays, birthdays, or just because

by Sarah Waldman

Photographs by Elizabeth Cecil

My grandmother, Polly, makes these simple, melt-in-your-mouth Pecan Crescent Cookies every Christmas. With a short list of simple ingredients, and a dough made completely in the bowl of a food processor, these sugar-dusted cookies are an easy holiday bake and taste just as good in the morning with a cup of coffee as they do after dinner.



1 cup pecans

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups powdered sugar 


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. 
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pecans until the nuts become the texture of coarse sand. 
  3. Add in the butter, granulated sugar, flour, and vanilla. Pulse until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. 
  4. Remove the dough from the machine and place in a mixing bowl. 
  5. Grabbing about one tablespoon at a time, form the dough into small crescent shapes. The cookies should be about one inch long. Roll the crescents in powdered sugar and place on an ungreased baking sheet. 
  6. Bake the Pecan Crescents for 30 to 40 minutes. 
  7. Once the cookies are out of the oven and cooled, roll a second time in powdered sugar. 
  8. Pecan Crescent Cookies can be gifted in small tins, boxes, or filled inside of a mug.

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