Pecan Crescents – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


Low Carb Pecan Crescent CookiesThis Low Carb Pecan Crescent Recipe is my attempt to recreate my father’s favourite Christmas cookie into something we can all enjoy.  And I have to say, I am pretty darn pleased with these.  They have the same soft and yet crumbly texture of the original, the same pecan flavour coming through, and yet they don’t contain an ounce of sugar or gluten.  I think, I really hope, that he’s going to love these as much as the cookies of my childhood.  He outright asked me to find a way to do them this year, as he and his wife are coming to celebrate Christmas with us.  How could I deny my old man???

This recipe was also inspired by the amazing baking gift pack I received from The Pampered Chef as part of their Virtual Holiday Cookie Swap.  It was like Christmas came early for me.  You know I love baking and let me tell you, this was packed full of great baking gear.  Even though I was given the list of what it contained ahead of time, I honestly was shocked when I opened it up.  And the best part?  They want to give the same pack to one of you!  Trust me, if you like baking, you want one of these baking bundles.  It will rock your baking world!  (Scroll down to see what’s in the baking bundle).

Gluten-Free Pecan Crescents

I couldn’t possibly use all of the items they sent in the creation of this low carb cookie recipe, but it sure was fun to try.  I used the Madagascar Vanilla in both the cookies and the glaze.  I got out the stainless steel baking sheet they sent and was impressed by the heft of it, it’s an extremely sturdy baking sheet.  I lined the sheet with their parchment paper for easy clean up (I heart parchment!).  The mini cookie scoop was perfect for getting just the right amount of dough for each cookie (why have I never owned one of these things before???).  And then I froze some of the unglazed cookies in the leakproof glass container, so that I could save enough for when my dad comes for Christmas (who am I kidding…I made a double batch!).

Pecan Crescent Cookie Recipe

The traditional version of these cookies simply has a white vanilla glaze with sprinkles, and I wanted to stick to that as much as possible.  But I’ve always wanted to try those accordion-style decorator bottles, so I couldn’t resist making up a little red glaze to drizzle over a few of the cookies.  Once again, I am the world’s worst cookie decorator so try not judge me too harshly.

Check out all of the great recipes at the Holiday Cookie Swap, hosted by The Pampered Chef.

The Giveaway: (CLOSED)



Pecan Crescents - Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Yield: 40 cookies

Serving Size: 2 cookies


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener or granulated erythritol
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp molasses (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 25 drops stevia extract
  • Vanilla Glaze:
  • 2/3 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener or powdered erythritol
  • 6 to 8 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. For the cookies, preheat oven to 325F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, chopped pecans, coconut flour baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter with erythritol until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg, molasses, vanilla and stevia extracts.
  4. Beat in almond flour mixture until dough comes together.
  5. Form dough into 3/4 inch balls, then roll between palms and shape into crescents.
  6. Lay on prepared baking sheets and bake 18 minutes, or until just lightly golden brown. They will not be firm to the touch, but will firm up as they cool.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.
  8. For the glaze, whisk powdered erythritol with 1/4 cup cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Add 1 tbsp more cream at a time until a thin but spreadable consistency is achieved.
  9. Spread on cooled cookies and decorate as desired.


Serves 20 (2 cookies per serving). Each serving has 5.2 g of carbs and 2.2 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3 g (minus the sprinkles, but those don't add much if used judiciously).

Disclosure:  I was compensated for this post by The Pampered Chef, both in products and monetarily.  Opinions are, as always, my own.

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  1. Tove says

    My favorite Christmas Cookie is Norwegian Krumkaker. Delicios, thin and crispy, but unfortunatly not low carb and not gluten free. I would sooo much like to compose a recepie that is…
    Now I have liked both Facebook sites, and are following both pages on Pinterest.
    Best regards and a Merry Christmas

  2. says

    These look so fun… how great of you to recreate your father’s favorite treat!

    Since I don’t celebrate Christmas (or didn’t until I married Eric), I’m not sure what Christmas cookies are… but I did make roasted chestnut cookies a few years ago and fell madly in love with them. So, that’s my answer :-)

  3. Jessica says

    My favorites are sugar cookies! So glad several bloggers have come out with sugar free “sugar cookies” this year!

  4. says

    My favorite cookie? What a hard one. Of course it has to be gluten free and warm from the oven. What would Christmas be without moist sugar cookies …or gooey warm chocolate chip cookies…or matrimony date bars the Canadian way? It’s way too early in the morning to be thinking cookies but my tummy is growling already. COOKIES!

    Love your FB page and have shared it with others. My cousin mentions it all the time to me. Would love to win the contest because I’m just at the beginning of my gluten free path and have so much to learn.

  5. says

    I love the pampered chef! I’ve only thrown one party by them myself but it was so much fun and their products are great. My favorite christmas cookie is a sugar cookie, I think. Though it is hard to argue with a classic chocolate chip.

  6. Nikki says

    Chocolate chippers. Basically a chocolate chip cookie using choppped German chocolate instead of semi sweet chips. Great childhood memories when I eat them.

  7. says

    My favorite Christmas cookie is actually Date Balls….rice krispies, dates, coconut all rolled together with a few walnuts sprinkled in! I know dates are very high in sugar and not so great for a low carber but if you ever do a recipe makeover of that cookie…please let me know! :)

    • Denise says

      Your Sour Cream Sugar Cookie sounds enticing, and I love making ancient recipes that have been in the family for generation, and passed down. Can you share the recipe? The cookies sound delicious, and I’d love to try them.

  8. Cindi Hoag says

    Our favorite cookie is almond cream cheese spritz. I would love to win this for my daughter because she is getting married this next year.

  9. Jennifer says

    My favorite low carb Christmas cookies, so far, are your Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich cookies. The peppermint filling is delicious! (the coolness from the erythritol works wonderfully with the mint!) My hubby prefers the cookies without the filling…and they are fantastic without.

  10. says

    My favorite Christmas Cookies are basic sugar cookies using cookie cutters… will be trying on of your recipes this year! But, I cannot wait to try these pecan cookies!

    Thanks for ALL you do!

  11. says

    Your crescents look so pretty!
    My favorite Christmas cookies are Pecan Lassies and I tell my mom each year, how horrible at making them I would be :) so she will make them for me. She called me yesterday when she put them in the oven. Yep, I’m a brat some days, but she says she doesn’t mind.

  12. Melanie E. says

    There is a Swedish almond-flavored cookie that I get once a year at our catered work party. Amazing! I like frosted sugar cookies and the peanut butter ones with the chocolate star or kiss.

  13. Anita Blakley says

    My favorite Christmas cookie/s is any cookie that I can make with my grandchildren helping!!!!! I rarely get to see them because they live in another state and just watching them laughing and giggling when they are helping Grandma Red make them puts a big ol smile on my face everytime!!!!!!

  14. BeckyM says

    My favorite Christmas cookies are Russian tea cakes, aka wedding cookies. I think your recipe will work very well for those.

  15. says

    Wow, I don’t know my favourite.
    I’d guess spritz cookies. They are so fun to make & decorate with children.
    However, when getting fancy, or sharing with friends, I usually head to a bar cookie, as they are easier to make in a multitude in a small kitchen.

  16. Kassi says

    Basic sugar cookies that can be decorated for Santa! Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes. I’ve never had one not turn out as promised.

  17. Sarah says

    Favorite Christmas cookie: My mom got a recipe from her sister’s mother-in-law (confusing) a long time ago for fruitcake cookies. Wow! I never really like fruitcake but these were different but also so colorful and I wish I had some right now!

    I have all the ingredients to make your dad’s cookies though so I’ll give those a try instead! They can be frozen without the glaze? Would they be bad frozen with the glaze?

  18. Laurie says

    I have a recipe I love that I’ve always called Killer Cookies. They’re basically a chewy chocolate chip, pecan, oatmeal, and coconut cookie. Definitely not low carb!

  19. jo says

    my favourite Christmas cookies – what my well-loved grandmother used to call bird’s nest cookies: kind of a shortbread, rolled in chopped walnuts (or was it pecans?), ruby-red jam nestled in a slight depression on top. oh my yummy. and associated with such warm memories!

  20. Cyndi says

    I’m sugar free gluten free now, but in the day I always enjoyed a frosted sugar cookie, pecan tassies, and sweeties. To tell you the truth I ABSOLUTELY LOVED COOKIES, they were my favorite dessert, and I had a hard time turning them down & with diabetes I finally had to say no – can you say I was a sugar addict junkie! FREE for 1.5 years YAY!!!

  21. Della says

    My favorite cookie is your Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies! They are to die for! I made a batch for work and no one knew they were LC or GF!

  22. Christina says

    My favorite cookie (ever) is a Greek powdered cookie….the dough contains a splash of Ouzo for a nice annise flavor. I have been pretty successful at converting them to low carb and gluten free. Reminds me of being a kid in Greece long ago,

  23. Michelle says

    One favorite cookie? Hard to do that! I love chocolate chip cookies with walnuts, sugar cookies with frosting, shortbread cookies and chocolate crinkles. And let’s not forget peanut butter.

  24. Katharine says

    I’m going to make these!! Yum. My favorite Christmas cookie is actually a candy…. I make an old family recipe for pralines that rocks my world. Or used to, anyway! :) If you could figure out how to make a sugar-free praline (is that even possible since it’s mostly sugar?) I’d love that! This year I’m going to try a low-carb sugared pecan recipe and see if it’s a satisfying replacement.

  25. Pat Garay says

    My favorite Christmas cookies are peanut butter kiss cookies and pecan tassies. Haven’t found a way to make the tassies low carb, yet!

  26. Theresa says

    My favorite is my mother’s fruitcake cookies. I have been making them as low carb as possible for the last three years. Traditionally you soak the candied fruit in whiskey over night. These cookies are mostly pecans with a touch of fruit. I have got the flavor down pat. I’m still working on the texture. I substitute dried fruit for the candied cherries and pineapple, but finding sugar free dried fruit is a challenge.

    I love your blog, cookbooks, and recipes. Please keep them coming! Happy Holidays!

  27. says

    I LOVE your Chocolate Peppermint cookies, actually! And now that I have to do low-carb (T1D), they are now my new favorite. I have always liked peppermint at Christmastime. Have a great holiday, and I’m praying I win the giveaway!

  28. bevbstylin says

    Favorite cookies is “Magic Cookie Bars”, that replace high carb version “Hello Dollies”. What a great giveaway!

    • Carolyn says

      Hey, I call them Russian Tea Cookies too! I was just telling my husband yesterday about the multiple names for those cookies…Mexican Wedding Cakes, Snowballs, etc.

  29. Nancy says

    I follow you on FB. As for my favorite cookie, that is SO hard to say. I guess I would have to go with chocolate chip, but looking at what you have shared today, and someone suggested making them into wedding cookies, boy, close second!

  30. Pat says

    Gosh what a great giveaway! Thank you! Favorite Christmas cookie is Oatmeal Raisin made by my mother in law. Have no clue what is in it but they are big and fabulous. Not seeing her this year and will miss those yummy cookies. Liked all FB and Pinterest pages. Love your blog!

  31. Ashley says

    My favorite kind of Christmas cookie has got to be gingerbread cookies! X3 They taste like the holidays, and my mother’s are the absolute best!

  32. Tiffini says

    My favorite is Russian tea cakes aka Mexican wedding cookies. Either way, I’m working on a low carb version….hopefully before Christmas

  33. Carolyn Curielli says

    My favorite cookie is Pecan Tassies. I don’t use Pinterest, but I like both you and Pampered Chef on Facebook.

  34. Lindag says

    favorite Christmas cookies are old family traditions with family names – Pennsylvania cookies: an almond hazelnut crescent and honey balls. Am trying to sub almond flour in each of them, will see how they turn out.

    Love Pampered Chef

  35. Dita MacDonald says

    I would love to get the Pampered Chef gift. My favorite cookie is Peanutbutter Blossom, made low carb. Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  36. says

    I love your website! I am on it everyday. I have been doing Clean Eating for 4 months and love finding new things to make. My favorite cookie is Shortbread or Peanut butter. Thanks for all you do to help us! I love Pampered Chef products, too. Have a great holiday season!

  37. Viki says

    Until today, Dr. Davis’ Orange Cream Cookies were our favorite low carb, gluten free cookies. I just finished a double batch of your Pecan Cresents and these take first place – my husband and I agree that we don’t think the glaze is necessary – just because it is Christmas, I’ll probably do the glaze. I also think my next batch will not be the pretty little cresent shapes – I’m planning to just use the small cookie scoop and bake. Thanks for all you do for us – love your blog!

  38. Sarah P says

    One of my favorite Christmas cookies is date balls rolled in coconut. I love that they freeze well, so we can enjoy them all season . . . plus they last slightly longer when you have to let them thaw (although they are pretty good frozen too!).

  39. Wendy Costello says

    My favorites are peppernuts (pfeffernussen). They were my grampas favorites and my grandma would make them every Thanksgiving-Christmas. I’m going to attempt to make them GF this year!

  40. Ellen says

    My fav has always been frosted and decorated holiday cut out sugar cookies. And this year they still are thanks to your almond flour cutouts that I made with Swerve!!! Heavenly!

  41. Rennie says

    My favorite Christmas cookies are pfefferneuse. I love all types of spice cookies, but pfefferneuse are special to me because of the extra kick from the pepper.

  42. Ellen Schmidt says

    My favorite Christmas cookie is the Mexican Wedding Cake. It’s a cookie my mom used to make at Christmas time, so I have always thought of it as a Christmas cookie. I wonder if the Pecan cookie here would taste anything like them?

  43. david carson says

    My favorite holiday cookie has always been chocolate crinkles. My Mom has made them as far back as I can remember. I can’t imagine celebrating the holiday without them. Guess I should learn to bake so I can make HER a batch. :-)

  44. Rina says

    My favorite Christmas cookie is Vanillekipfel (Austrian Vanilla Crescents). Growing up, my Austrian grandmother sent us a huge box of her homemade vanillekipfel every Christmas. We always were so excited when the brown paper wrapped box from grossmama arrived. The smell was heavenly and the taste even better! These cookies are traditionally made with a cup or two of almond and/or hazelnut flours so they were very easy for me to adapt to using only nut flours. This year I am going to use Swerve for the sweetner instead of coconut sugar so my blood sugar won’t spike! Dusted with some powdered erythritol they will look just like our family’s traditional vanillekipfel.
    Your pecan crescent cookies look very scrumptious, I can hardly wait to make them.

  45. david carson says

    My favorite holiday cookie has always been chocolate crinkles. My Mom has made them as far back as I can remember. I can’t imagine celebrating the holiday without them. Guess I should learn to bake so I can make HER a batch.

  46. Diane P says

    My favorite Christmas cookies are Russian Teacakes (also sometimes called Wedding Cookies). These seem to be fairly similar with the exception of being iced instead of rolled in powdered sugar. Being fairly recently diagnosed as diabetic, I really appreciate this low carb recipe!

  47. Linda says

    Our favorite Christmas cookies are fruitcake cookies, believe it or not! They are so rich and colorful, made with candied fruit of all flavors and colors.

  48. Maryellen says

    I love the basic Spritz recipe that came with my cookie gun. It’s fun and easy to decorate, I have a Pampered Chef cookie scoop, and love it! I would love more of their items. They really do a good job with the products. Recipe sounds great! Thanks.

  49. Rani Merens says

    In my pre-low-carb days, my SIL gave me this recipe that became a Christmas-only standard: slice-and-bale a roll of sugar-cookie-dough into 36 cookies; stir amaretto liqueur into raspberry jam and spread a thin layer on the bottom of 18 cookies and press the another cookie bottom against the jam to make a sandwich. Melt some chocolate chips and add in a smidge of paraffin. Dip the 18 sandwiches halfway into the chocolate. I haven’t tried to replicate a LC version. I’m Liking on FB. Haven’t done Pinterest but this is an incentive to sign up and try it! P.S. I *ADORE* Pampered Chef! Best veg-peelers in the world… I actually tie one onto bridal-shower gifts! I have so many PC products in my kitchen!

  50. tammy says

    Before I found out I had celiac disease…my favorite was my grama’s cutout cookies…we would bake and decorate them…I can almost still smell and imagine how wonderful they tasted. Thanks for the memories!!

  51. Cheryl Neal says

    It’s so hard to pick a favorite, I love so many of them. I guess my favorite today will be chocolate filled Italian cookies. Not sure if there is another name, it’s the name on the recipe when I received it from a little Italian lady from the northside of the city where I live.

  52. Veronica says

    Alfajores (pronounced alpha-whore-es :) South American sandwich cookies filled with dulce de leche. I have plans to make them with your dulce de leche recipe but have failed at finding an adequate low carb grain free cookie that won’t fall apart the next day. Would love to win the Pampered Chef lot!

  53. Kris Reeves says

    My favorite cookie is the Mexican wedding cakes…. cream cheese dough filled with almond and butter filling and dusted with powdered sugar. Obviously I can’t eat these anymore but maybe you can make a low carb version?! Would love to win this set!

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Kris…your version of Mexican wedding cakes sounds a little different from what I know…could you send me the recipe so I can try to make them over sometime?

  54. shannon says

    my favorite christmas cookie are brownie caramel bars – my mom hardly ever makes them, but when she does I am in heaven!!

  55. Kerri says

    My mom makes these cookies we call tea times, I have no idea where the recipe came from. They’re tiny pie cookies with a cream cheese sweet dough shell and gooey walnut filling. They are my favorite cookie ever, and we are making them together tomorrow! :)

  56. Jude says

    I’ll be honest. Right now my fave cookies is the Pecan Crescent recipe. Those were great! I added xanthum gum as a precaution-not sure if it needs it. Another fave is anything lemon. TX.

  57. says

    I can’t resist a great giveaway and this one is fantastic! Your cookies look wonderful…I know your dad will be thrilled. My favorite Christmas cookie is a coconut macadamia :)

  58. says

    Well, before I was diagnosed with diabetes a month ago, my favorite Christmas cookies were frosted sugar cookies. By next year, I think my favorite will be something from this site! It’s been a lifesaver. Ate your almond flour waffles for breakfast this morning!

  59. says

    Yum! Yet another great transformation!!!! Thank you for sharing your gift of gluten free baking and cooking. I send clients to you blog all the time. Will be making these cookies for an exchange Monday.

  60. Lorna S says

    My favorite cookies are traditional sugar cookies. They bring back so many wonderful childhood memories: rolling & using the cookie cutters (I use my mom-in-law’s that she gave me over 30 years ago!), the smell of them baking, decorating them with the cream cheese Christmas-y frosting (each grandchild gets a specially decorated cookie with their name on it every year) and the my most favorite part- eating them!

  61. nichole K says

    My favorite Christmas cookie is GINERBREAD!!!! I make them low carb now though . I already follow you on facebook.

  62. Denise says

    I have a few favorite cookies, and they are Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Pecan, and Coconut Cookies; Vanilla Cookies; and Shortbread Cookies.

  63. Michele says

    I like pinwheel cookies the best – but I have not been brave enough to try to make them. They seem like too much work!

  64. Maureen says

    THIS Pecan Crescent is my favorite cookie! Truly, before I turned to low carb eating, Pecan Sandies, Crescents, Mexican Wedding cookies were my absolute favorite and I could never get enough of them! Thank you SO much for creating this low carb, gluten free version. Without the sugar, I can actually stop at two (one serving) and be content. The flavor and texture are spot on. I didn’t even make the glaze or sprinkle them with erythritol, they’re perfect as is. Thank you again and Happy Holidays!!

  65. Kathleen says

    My favorite Christmas cookie is Nut Butter Balls. It’s a type of sand tart with butter, a little flour and both almond and vanilla extract.

  66. Michele says

    My favorite Christmas Cookie is pinwheels. I have never actually made them, but my mom used to make them every year.

  67. Lany says

    My fave is a sugar cookie. Nice and simple. Especially when they are shaped like snow flakes. Just really puts me in the holiday mood :)

  68. says

    The post says this expired yesterday, but I just saw you tweet about it, so… on the off-chance it counts, here I am. :) My favorite cookies are orange cream cookies, which I found the recipe for in a Betty Crocker holiday cookie book a few years ago. They’re divine, and a great departure from all the chocolate and fudge that’s usually around.

    • Carolyn says

      It will count. I meant to have it run until tonight! I have been sick over the holidays so if I am a little spacey, forgive me. I will go adjust that now!

  69. says

    I totally missed the contest, but have a question about the recipe. Is there a non-nut substitute for almond flour? Maybe a combination of whey protein and coconut flour? The nut flour is too much for the hubby’s system…I will take a stab at a substitute myself and let you know how it goes, but if you have a suggestion I would love to hear it.


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