One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is that I have an excuse to make these Crescent Cookies. When my mother was in her early twenties, she worked at The Grolier Society for the Book of Knowledge. There was a much older woman named Catherine Phalen who worked in billing. Each holiday season Catherine would bring a large box of these homemade cookies to the office and leave the box at the reception desk. According to my mother, the cookies were gone within minutes – and there's no surprise there. At one point Catherine gave her young colleague the recipe and since then, the cookies have been a tradition in our family. In fact, these cookies are probably the first things my mother taught my brother and me to bake. Now, over fifty years later you can still find my mother and I together in the kitchen, mixing and rolling and sprinkling powdered sugar. Oh, and eating the results. Thank you to Catherine for sharing this special and incredibly simple recipe with us!
½ pound butter
2 cups flour
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla (you can substitute almond extract)
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon salt
I don't use a mixer for this recipe (I need the exercise) but you certainly can.
Cream butter and add sugar, vanilla and water. Sift flour and salt together and stir into mixture. Using portions the size of small walnuts roll between your palms into crescent shapes. Bake in slow oven (325 degrees) about twenty minutes. While the cookies are still warm, roll them in powdered sugar. Let cool and consume in vast quantities.
“Heartfelt and emotional . . . . Fans of Elin Hilderbrand will adore this genuine exploration of family bonds, personal growth, and acceptance.” –Booklist
Against the irresistible backdrop of Christmas in New England, bestselling author Holly Chamberlin creates a heartfelt and memorable novel—a story of reunited family, new beginnings, and unconditional love—the best gift of all.
To outsiders, Appleville, New Hampshire, is a storybook small town complete with a little white church and a gazebo on the village green. To Gincy Gannon Luongo, it was a place to escape from as quickly as she could. Since she moved away twenty years ago, Appleville has been her hometown in name only. But at her brother Tommy’s urging, Gincy is coming back to visit their recently widowed mother in the weeks leading up to Christmas—and she’s bringing her teenage daughter, Tamsin, with her.
Ellen Gannon, once feisty and strong-willed, is mired in depression. Tommy isn’t doing much better. Gincy starts restoring order to the household in her usual practical way, but it’s clear that imagined slights and lingering resentments have created deep chasms between them all. With each day, she realizes she has seriously undervalued her mother and her brother. Only now, with the support of her husband, daughter, and best friends, does she see how much she may have missed. For beyond the surface of every family and every picturesque town is something more complicated but infinitely more rewarding—a tapestry of those small acts of acceptance, love, and loyalty that could transform this Christmas into the best Gincy’s ever known.