These crescent cookies, filled with a sweet mango-peach jam, are a perfect way to welcome spring back into our lives. Crispy, crumbly, rich and not-too-sweet, these crescents are little cookie ambassadors of cheer and goodwill.
Spring has finally sprung here in Michigan! I know you’ve heard plenty of midwesterners complain about the weather this year, but this past week we woke up to freezing temperatures and steady snow, only to end the day with sunshine and temperatures in the 50’s. Winter, begone! To celebrate we spent the after-school hours outside and even ate at our patio table. Because if you’re a Michigander and it hits 60 degrees for the first time in months, you’re going to fire up the grill and go put on some shorts.
And as fits with my over-planner personality, now that the weather is changing I’m finding myself filled with ambitious spring cleaning and organizing goals. My list keeps on growing, from cleaning out my kids’ closet and donating everything they don’t need (reasonable), to building them some cool geometric bookshelves so I’m not constantly tripping over their books (ambitious, but doable in a weekend), to turning our playroom into an art room so that my life will look like my Instagram feed (um… maybe in 6 months?). Something’s in the air that’s giving me all kinds of planning motivation. Maybe it’s the pollen? Now the trick will be to actually turn those plans into reality without making everyone crazy. And to remember to stop and actually enjoy the warmer weather now that it’s here.
But back to the cookies. My grandmother’s Anniversary Slovak-American Cookbook has so many variations on these crescent cookies, I could spend a month on the blog baking my way through each one. These crescents are similar in concept to the rozky I shared here very early on in this blog’s life, in that they feature a sweet dough wrapped around a jam filling. This version features a yeasted dough, which makes for a delightfully rich but not too sweet cookie. The trick is to chill the dough before you roll it out and cut it, so that it’s easy to work with and shape. You could use any filling you like here, from your favorite jam to a cinnamon-sugar-nut mixture, as long as you can spread it relatively thin so that these cookies will roll up. Once they are baked to a golden brown, these crescents are rich, crumbly, and perfectly sweet. And if you want to see the whole Sunday series where I cook from my grandmother’s cookbooks, you can find it here.
- 1 cup shortening
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup jam, any flavor
- In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil and then remove it from the heat. Allow it to cool down to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, salt, and flour. Cut in the shortening and yeast using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the largest pieces of shortening are the size of small peas. Add the cooled milk and eggs and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
- Gently shape the dough into a ball, being careful not to overwork it with your hands, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for a least 2 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to roll out the dough, preheat the oven to 400°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle your countertop lightly with powdered sugar. Turn the dough out onto it, and roll it out to a ⅛ inch thickness. Using a 9" cake pan as a guide, cut the dough into 5 circular pieces. If you can only get 4 from the rolled out dough, put the scraps together and roll it out again to get the 5th circle.
- Cut each circle into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Spread each wedge lightly with jam, leaving a small border at the edges, then roll each wedge up, beginning at the wide end.
- Place the crescent rolls onto the prepared baking sheets, shaping them gently into a crescent shake. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.