Tender pecan crescent cookies made with almond flour. These easy and delicious low carb cookies are a must make for the holiday season. They also make great snowball cookies too! And at 4g total carbs per serving, you can afford to indulge.
These low carb pecan crescent cookies are full of deep and emotional nostalgia for me. Pecan crescents were my father’s favorite Christmas cookie, and as many of you know, he died a few years ago right around Christmas. I miss him terribly but I am lucky I got so much time with him in the end.
I originally created this recipe in 2012, long before his diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He and his wife often used to spend Christmas with us when we lived in Boston, before he got too ill to travel. One holiday, I was inspired to attempt a low carb version of his beloved pecan crescents.
And I was absolutely delighted by how they turned out, and how pleased he was to indulge in my healthier version. They have the same soft and yet slightly crumbly texture of the original, and the same delicious pecan flavor coming through, without an ounce of sugar or gluten. The old man gave them two thumbs up.
It truly is astonishing what you can accomplish with a stick of butter, a bag of almond flour, and a willingness to experiment.
I decided that in his honour, I needed to update this old post and give them some pretty new photos.
How To Make Pecan Crescent Cookies
Pecan crescents are akin to shortbread and they have that unique sandy texture of a typical shortbread cookie. To shape them, you simply roll them into balls and then form them into crescents. Or you could simply leave them as balls and turn them into pecan snowballs.
Be sure to use finely chopped, toasted pecans. If the pecan chunks are too large, it’s harder to roll and shape the cookies properly.
Our traditional family recipe took brown sugar. At the time I first created these, I subbed in granulated Swerve and some molasses, but now that Swerve has a brown sugar substitute, it’s perfect for these cookies. If you can’t find Swerve Brown, try regular Swerve and 2 teaspoons of Yacon or molasses.
We used to decorate our cookies with some canned vanilla frosting that we thinned out with a little milk. Ugh, can you believe that? Now I simply whisk together a little vanilla glaze with powdered sweetener and heavy cream, and it’s just as good.
Sadly, there really aren’t any great sugar-free sprinkles out there. I just use a few holiday sprinkles on the frosted cookies to give them a festive flair.
You could also simply roll them in powdered sweetener. I did that to half of the pecan crescent cookies this time and they were lovely that way. If you want to make snowballs with these cookies, you simply roll them in powdered sweetener after they’ve cooled.
This recipe makes a lot of cookies so it’s perfect for holiday parties or gift-giving. The great thing is that the cookies freeze well both baked and unbaked. For unbaked, simply wrap the dough up tightly in plastic and freeze. Thaw before shaping and rolling into crescents.
If you want freeze the baked cookies, let them cool properly first. Freeze before frosting or rolling in powdered sweetener. They can last in the fridge for up to two months.
So there you go, Dad. I am sending a healthy keto version of your beloved Pecan Crescent Cookies into the world so that people can enjoy them. Miss you!
Keto Pecan Crescent Cookies
For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 325F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, chopped pecans, coconut flour baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with Swerve until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
- Beat in almond flour mixture until dough comes together. Form dough into ¾ inch balls, then roll between palms and shape into crescents.
- Lay on prepared baking sheets and bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until just lightly golden brown. They will not be firm to the touch, but will firm up as they cool. Cool on the pan.
For the glaze:
- Whisk powdered Swerve with ¼ cup cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon more cream at a time until a thin but spreadable consistency is achieved.
- Spread on cooled cookies and decorate as desired.
- Or simply roll the cookies in powdered sweetener.