Viennese Crescents


Delicate, buttery and delicious! These Viennese Crescent Cookies are a family tradition, and a recipe that was handed down to me from my grandmother (who is a fantastic 88 years old this year!). These were always at the table after Christmas dinner. Now that I have my own family with two little girls, I am passionate about continuing the tradition and filling the holidays with the treats that I remember as a child, and teaching my girls how to make them too. It is amazing to have 4 generations around the table, and seeing my grandmother who is now a great-grandmother taste testing my results with her recipes (and a little stressful – lol!). No worries though – these are grandma-approved!

For this recipe I used Gay Lea Convenient Sticks Unsalted Butter – love that it makes it so easy to measure. Did you know that Gay Lea uses only pure and preservative-free cream from 100% Canadian milk produced by Gay Lea’s 1,200 local dairy farmers? It is great quality butter that you can feel good about using, and for me it gives me great results all time in my baked goods.

For this recipe one of the “secret ingredients” is using vanilla sugar vs vanilla extract and granulated sugar. I found Dr. Oetker’s Natural Vanilla Sugar in my local European store.

Note that the exact recipe as passed down to me is measured in ounces, and I have given the approximation in tablespoons or cups, but I do highly recommend weighing if you have a kitchen scale handy.



  • 6 oz butter (12 tbsp)
  • 9 oz all-purpose flour (approx 2 cups)
  • 3 oz vanilla sugar (approx 1/2 cup or 12 packets)
  • 4 oz finely ground almonds
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • Icing sugar for dusting baked cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix butter and flour with a spoon. Add sugar, ground almonds and a pinch of Kosher salt.
  3. Combine well.
  4. Form into crescents on a parchment or silpat lined baking pan. Note that if dough is too crumbly you can add a few drops of water to moisten.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden on the edges.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  7. Dust with icing sugar.
  8. You can store in an airtight container on the counter for a few days, or you can freeze cookies without icing sugar if storing for the holidays and then dust after fully defrosted.


Don’t forget that Gay Lea is holding a contest to see how people enjoy their favourite shortbread cookie! You can enter by sharing a photo on Twitter and/or Instagram with the hashtag #GayLeaShortbread showing how you enjoy your favourite shortbread.Three (3) winners will be chosen at random on December 1st, 2014. Participants will have the chance to win ONE of the following prizes: one (1) KitchenAid Stand Mixer or (1) of two (2) year’s supply of Gay Lea products! The contest ends November 30, 2014 at 11:59pm ET. Entrants must be a resident of Canada, however those in Quebec are unfortunately unable to participate. Full rules and regulations HERE. Participants must share one photo and include the hashtag #GayLeaShortbread to be considered. Winners will be selected randomly.

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.



6 Comments Add yours

  1. Cookies looks wonderful! Family recipes are always the best 🙂 I’ve never thought of using vanilla sugar packets before…I’ve seen them in Longo’s. Think I’ll pick some up next time!


  2. Carole says:

    Hi Kara, just stopped by to let you know you’ve been featured today over at Carole’s Chatter. Cheers


    1. Kara Heald says:

      Thanks Carole!
      Here’s the link everyone:


  3. These looks so yummy, Kara. I’ll have to keep my eye out for that vanilla sugar.


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