Pecan Crescent Cookies Are a Classic Holiday Treat

Pecan crescent cookies are one of the most classic  you can make. They come together with simple from the fridge and pantry, and quickly, too: From start to finish, a batch of these snow white beauties takes only 40 minutes to make! Butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, flour, and pecans are all you need, but we like to add a bit of orange zest and cinnamon to give the cookies a subtle, citrus freshness and spice to complement the crunchy pecans. Add them to a  on the holiday dessert table or wrap 'em up with ribbon for a stunning to drop on a friend's doorstep. Even Santa himself will be a big fan of these festive Christmas treats! 

Are pecan crescent cookies soft or crunchy?

This isn't a cookie with a gooey center, which, when it comes to holiday cookie plates and gifting, is a very good thing! Instead they have a delightful snap and are sturdy enough to easily transport.

Why do you coat the cookies in powdered sugar while they're warm?

It helps that initial coating of sugar stick to the cookies better. Once they've cooled completely, you can sprinkle on even more powdered sugar if you'd like!

What's the easiest way to zest an orange?

Zesting an orange is just like . It's quick, easy, and doesn't require any fancy equipment. Just make sure to wash the orange before you begin, and then simply grab a microplane, a hand-held , or even a (using the smallest holes) and zest away. Rotate the orange often to avoid grating the white, bitter pith. If you don't have an orange, you can use lemon zest instead. 

Can I use a food processor to chop nuts?

Though a food processor is a convenient tool that makes quick work of chopping many things, we don’t always recommend using it for nuts. The blade of the food processor will not chop all of the nuts as evenly as a sharp knife can. Certain parts of the nuts will stay in larger pieces, while other parts will be ground too fine. At worst, the nuts can be over-chopped into a fine paste, which will release too many of their natural oils. This can make the cookie too wet, soft and difficult to shape.

Is it best to chill cookie dough before baking?

There's no need to chill the dough for this pecan crescent cookie recipe. Some cookie doughs need to be chilled before forming and baking, so that they don't spread once they hit the heat of the oven. These cookies don't have leavener (plus they have enough structure from the powdered sugar, flour and pecans) so they don't spread when prepped straight from the mixing bowl to the baking sheet. 

Do you have to use parchment paper when baking cookies?

No, these cookies release easily from the baking sheet, without a layer of parchment paper. Parchment paper, however, often creates an easy clean up process for any cookie baking project, so we won't ever discourage its use!

What's the best way to store pecan crescent cookies?

Store these sugar-dusted cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, with layers of parchment paper between layers to protect the cookies. They'll stay fresh for up to a week. If adding these cookies to a Christmas cookie gift box, consider placing them in a cellophane bag first so the powdered sugar doesn't transfer to other treats in the box.

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