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Extra-Special Cashew Crescents

by on November 10, 2010 · 21 comments

Today’s cookies are a prize winning recipe from Taste of Home.

Taste of Home’s cookies.

extra special crescent cookies

My cookies.

crescent cookies

Let’s troubleshoot, ‘cause it’s better than cryin’.

Okay, so I did scale the recipe down, but the recipe didn’t have any leavenings or eggs and the scaling downwards was pretty straightforward. I weighed everything and got a wonderful smelling dough that cut beautifully with the scalloped cookie cutter I drove all the way to World Market to buy.

cashew cookie dough

So what happened? Why did my crescents spread? I’d like to blame it on the amount of flour, but the dough seemed just right. Perhaps I didn’t work enough in during the cutting process? Maybe the winning cookies were made with European style butter which sometimes causes cookies to spread less?  But they would have mentioned that, right?

Despite their appearance, the cookies had a wonderful flavor and I almost want to try making them again. I think if I do then I will a) work a little more flour into the dough b) bake one as a tester and c) if it spreads, just bake the cookies as circles and call them cashew lace cookies.  Or maybe I’ll just sit back and wait for some bloggers to make them.  If you make them, let me know how it goes.  They really did have a great flavor.


Luckily, there are a lot of other good recipes in the issue as well. The German Chocolate Thumbprints sound promising and Shannon’s chocolate toffee bars look great!


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Published on November 10, 2010

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

joan November 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I wonder if there was a typo in the recipe, because 3 of the 4 people who reviewed the recipe on the Taste of Home web site had the same problem that you did…… If you had a problem with the recipe, Anna, what hope is there for the rest of us?

CindyD November 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Don’t have time to look, but what about putting the pulverized cashews into another shortbread cookie dough?

Anna November 10, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Joan, maybe I was TOO precise with my measuring. Who knows? TOH tested it so I and the other two bakers whose cookies spread must have done something a different way. The question is, what was it?

Cindy, I only pulverized as many cashews as I needed, but that’s a good idea.

CindyD November 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm

You’ve really piqued my curiosity!
Could it be that the confectioner’s sugar and milk were meant for a glaze, not in the cookies? I compared the recipe to the chocolate chip shortbread cookies Nic at Baking Bites recently made, and except for those two ingredients the recipes are similar.

Anna November 10, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Cindy, those were definitely for the glaze. I didn’t bother to glaze these.

Louise November 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Just eyeballing it, the recipe seems to be light on flour for a roll out cookie. I think I’d start with 2 cups for a full recipe, and that may not be quite enough. :-(

Camille November 10, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Oh no, that’s a bummer!
Don’t worry, we all have kitchen flops every now and then!

Sandra November 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Anna, you’ve got to try them again. However, this batch would be yummy crumbled on top of French Vanilla ice-cream.

Mackenzie @ The Caramel Cookie November 10, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Sorry these didn’t turn out as expected. They still look delicious though!

Gloria November 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Maybe refrigerate the dough for a few hours? Otherwise if they don’t work for you, the rest of us will have no chance!

Gloria November 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm

And more flour…most shortbread cookies call for at least 2 cups flour to 1 cup butter….good luck!

Laura November 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Tried to look at the recipe, but apparently it’s members only. :(

Anna November 10, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Laura, thanks for letting me know. Isn’t membership free? I’ve been a member forever, but I’ve also subscribed forever. Here’s the ingredient list. I will email you the recipe.

1-2/3 cups lightly salted cashews
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons Spice Islands®, All Natural, No Corn Syrup Added, Pure Vanilla Extract, divided
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons 2% milk
Chopped lightly salted cashews and additional confectioners’ sugar, optional

Katrina November 10, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I. hate it when that happens.
I have that magazine and had already marked the German chocolate ones as ones I wanted to try. Bummer about the crescents. Oh, why do you go blow it off in NYC! ;)

Susan November 11, 2010 at 6:56 am

These seem to be basically shortbread cookies.
I’ve had issues with spreading on my shortbread cookies so I had to cut down on the amount of butter to flour.
I can tell you from experience that the butter amount is too much for the amount of flour.( Also sounds like alot of sugar too). Try using 1 stick rather than the 2 sticks called for in this recipe and I think that should work.
NOW… I have a question for you!
I have searched the internet to find the answer to this question with no luck!! HOW MANY OUNCES DOES ONE CUP OF AP FLOUR WEIGH? The answers I’ve received range from 4 ounces to 5 ounces!!!!What’s your answer?

the blissful baker November 11, 2010 at 8:14 am

despite the spreading, the cookies look really yummy! i love cashews!

caroliny November 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Hello! anna! tried to see the recipe and could not say only members could send me the recipe, your fan from Brazil

Tracy November 13, 2010 at 12:38 pm

How disappointing that must have been! The original cookie looks so nice, and cashews are sooo yummy.

I have this weird theory that it’s risky to weigh ingredients when the recipe ingredients are listed in volume. Maybe their measuring method yields different results … ?

My other (perhaps less weird) theory is that with so many contests determined by online voting, “prize-winning recipe” doesn’t mean as much anymore. People with lots of friends could be voting for mediocre recipes. But apparently that’s not the case with TOH.

Darlene Westfahl November 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I couldnt wait to try these too!! SAME THING happened to me I am gonna try em again but with more flour next time. What a real disappointment!!

Susan November 29, 2010 at 12:28 am

That sounds like a lot of butter for that amount of flour. I wonder if the recipe should call for 1 stick instead of 1 cup.

sabo December 26, 2010 at 12:30 am

I have just made these cookies (I also made them vegan ) They turned out awesome just not as pretty. When making them I noticed the recipe said to add all sugars when creaming the butter and that didn’t seem right so I just did the the brown and granulated sugars. If you missed this, this could be the reason your cookies were flat.

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