Observing these cookies cooling on a rack in my kitchen, my neighbor Kathy Kerr said, “My mother made cookies that look just like that. They were called Walnut Crescents.” And since the example on the rack were just exactly that, we made tea and ate some right then and there.
Buttery, nutty, slightly sweet cookies are perfect for me. Icing-laden sugar cookies, while often beautiful to look at, are way too sugary for my taste. Plus, I find I have little patience with rolling and cutting dough and then carefully decorating cookies. So I love cookies like these from the shortbread family that require merely a roll of dough between my hands. Plus the cardamom in this recipe must appeal to that fragment of my ancestry that hails from Sweden.
I pulsed the walnut pieces in my food processor until I saw fairly finely chopped mixture. A few larger pieces are all right.
Making the dough is a matter of beating the butter and sugar until it is quite fluffy, then add the flour and nuts. It will make a ball of dough, though for a while there I didn’t think it would. You can do the whole thing in a food processor if you want.
If you make these early in the month, you can store them in a cookie tin with a tight lid. They will keep very nicely right into the holidays. Freezing is not necessary as long as they are in the tin and stored somewhere relatively cool. In fact, freezing kind of spoils some cookies, and if they are left too long in the freezer, they pick up other non-cookie odors or flavors.
This batch made about forty cookies, which is about thirty too few. Double the recipe. Or make it twice. They go fast.