I’ve been waiting for the ‘right time’ to post this recipe for just over a month. I first got the urge to try a new cookie at the beginning of December.
When these cookies were an instant hit and I had the urge to share, I stepped back. Thinking how my posting a cookie recipe so close to the Christmas holidays would look to my fellow Muslims. I’ve been patiently waiting ever since. It wasn’t hard if I’m honest, the children were on holiday the past two weeks, meaning less phone time for me than usual.
My children are consistently (read that constantly) asking me to bake or make sweet treats. Usually it’s pancakes or their more recent favourite, doughnuts. I wanted a change and these cream cheese crescent cookies are it.
Margarine vs. Butter in Cookie Making
Cream Cheese Crescent Cookies are a lighter type of shortbread cookies and full of that sweet cream cheese tang flavour we all love, right?
They are made with a combination of margarine and cream cheese. Why margarine? It’s what the average Algerian uses, rather than the more expensive and tastier butter.
While I’m not Algerian yet living in Algeria, I decided to follow suit in the use of margarine over butter. Mainly because while my husband is away, I rely heavily on my in-laws and I don’t want to come across as high maintenance asking for real butter ‘zubda’ instead of this ‘zibda’ a.k.a margarine.
Do you think I have a complex about how people perceive me?!
Margarine may be a valid choice in this recipe because the cream cheese flavour comes through wonderfully. And, if you add the zest of a lemon along with vanilla, the biscuits taste like my favourite kind of cheesecake.
I’ve not tried, but you can attempt using butter instead of margarine in the cookies. Maybe try with margarine first though? As with butter you will likely need to add more flour to get the correct soft dough consistency. Also, baked goods high in butter tend to crack, so I’m afraid they may not look as good.
Make sure to use a good quality cream cheese. I like la vache qui rit – the laughing cow.
How to shape Crescent Cookies
Divide cookie dough and roll into balls. Roll each ball into a short log, using both hands gently roll with your fingertips to taper the ends then curve to complete the crescent moon shape.
Recipe makes approximately 26 cookies. You can divide the recipe quantities in half if you like, for us however, the more cookies the better.
Decorating Cream Cheese Crescent Cookies
After the biscuits have finished baking. Allow them to fully cool on the trays before dipping the tips in melted chocolate. Place back on the tray lined with baking paper and allow to set.
Unsuccessfully I went for full chocolate coverage. No guesses, those are the children’s first choice.
With chocolate and maybe sprinkle some chopped toasted nuts (or simply sprinkles!) and they would be a great addition to your Eid gâteaux secs / cookie trays.
I rather enjoy them without the chocolate, as an everyday type of cookie and we all want more of those, yeh? A mere dusting of icing sugar is enough.
Treat yourself to two, or three of these cream cheese crescent cookies with your next afternoon coffee. Don’t forget to share your recreations with me on Instagram # and @halalhomecooking.
Recipe adapted from Oum Walid.