Moon Crescents are cookies flavored with peanuts and shaped like crescents. They are dusted with icing sugar to give it a closer resemblance to the moon..:) The original recipe for these cookies is from a small paper cutting my mom had saved and kept in her recipe book. They looked so easy to make and didn’t need any ingredients which weren’t a pantry staple. So I decided to give it a try. The first batch itself came out so well that it got over in no time. So obviously there were requests to make it again, which I happily obliged (well, they were quite easy and quick to make!!).
Few things to keep in mind
- Peanuts: I have used peanuts for this recipe, as that’s what the original recipe called for. However, if you do not have peanuts or don’t like the taste of peanuts, you can try this with other nuts like cashews or almonds.
- Powdering the peanuts: Peanuts (or any other nut for that matter) will start releasing it’s oils after grinding for a while. And that’s how nut butters are made. But for these cookies, we are not looking peanut butter. So keep an eye when you grind the peanuts. They just need to be a coarse powder.
- Icing Sugar: I am using icing sugar to sprinkle on the cookies at the end. If you don’t have icing sugar, you can use regular powdered sugar too.
- All Purpose Flour / Maida: You may not need the entire quantity of flour mentioned in the recipe. It is also possible that you may need a little more. The quantity of flour used depends on multiple factors like how soft the butter was, the outside temperature etc. So it is important that you add the flour little by little and stop adding when you get a smooth and soft dough from which you can easily shape your cookies.
- Peanuts – 1/3 cup (See Recipe Notes above)
- All Purpose Flour / Maida – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (See Recipe Notes above)
- Salt – a pinch
- Butter – 1/4 cup (around 50 gms), soft and at room temperature
- Castor Sugar or Powdered Sugar – 1/4 cup
- Lemon Juice – 1/2 tsp (You can increase this to 1 tsp if you prefer a lemony taste for your cookies)
- Vanilla Essence – 1/4 tsp
- Icing Sugar – 2 tbsp
Step by Step Process
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C
- Dry roast, de-skin and powder the peanuts.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Add in the lemon juice and vanilla essence till pale and frothy.
- Add in the powdered peanuts to the batter and mix till well incorporated.
- Next add the salt.
- Finally add the flour little by little and keep mixing till you get a smooth and soft dough. You should be able to make a smooth ball from it and shape it.
- To shape these cookies, take a small ball and make it into a sausage shape – keeping the ends tapered and centre a little thick. Then bend the ends inwards slightly to make it resemble like a moon crescent (You can watch the video link above to see the process of shaping)
- Place the cookies at a little distance from each other on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or on a silicon mat. Depending on the size of the cookies, you may get around 12 – 15 cookies from this mix.
- Bake the cookies in your oven at 180 deg C for about 15 min. Make sure to check the cookies at about 12 min to see if the bottom has browned. The cookies will be really fragile, so be careful. If the bottom and side have a golden brown color, you can remove the baking tray from the oven and let the cookies cool.
- Once cooled (you can do this step when cookies are partially cooled too), take the icing sugar and sprinkle it evenly on all the cookies using a sieve.
- Store these cookies in an airtight container.