Yeast Crescents

Okay, so suffice it to say that a lot of my memories (at least the good ones) come with food.

And these cookies are a double whammy of goodness because first, my mom made them for us every year at Christmas and they are my favoritest cookie EVER! And second, this is my Gramma Moutaw’s recipe.

So I get the goodness of memories of Mom making them, helping Mom make them, making them now for my family and my gramma all rolled into one.

In other words, obviously, they had to be put in a book.

And also obviously, I have to share this awesomeness.

Yeast Crescents

  • Prep Time

    15/30 min
  • Cook Time

    10-15 min
  • Serves

    A Ton
Yeast Crescents


  • Cookie:
  • 4 cups Flour
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Package Dry Yeast
  • ¼ cup Warm Water
  • ¼ cup Melted Butter
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • More Melted Butter
  • Garnish:
  • Powdered Sugar for finish

How to do it…

  1. Now start this mother up by melting butter and then leaving it to cool for a bit while you sift the flour, sugar and salt together in a big bowl. In another bowl, mix eggs and sour cream with cooled butter and then beat. Just to say, either slow melt your butter in the microwave and let it rest or melt in a pan and let it rest a long while or right now you’ll have on your hands some sour cream and butter with cooked egg bits in. That’s no good. So yeah, let the butter cool.
  2. Soften yeast in H2O then add to the butter mixture and combine. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and then get your hands in there and knead until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Cover this in some plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight or for six hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375° (190° C)
  4. Divide dough into four parts. I usually pull the dough out of the bowl, slap it on a floured surface, cut a knife down the middle of the ball, twist and do it the other way, boom and boom, and then take a quarter of the dough to work, putting the other three parts aside.
  5. Now, get on with making your filling mixture (that is, just combine the sugar and cinnamon and voilà: filling mixture) and melting the butter.
  6. Using a rolling pin, on that floured surface, roll into a circle ¼" thick (or maybe a little thinner, you be the judge). Brush liberally with melted butter and sprinkle with filling mixture.
  7. Cut that circle into wedges (like you're slicing a pie). My recipe from Mom says “twelve wedges” but I just cut them so the very outside ends are cookie size. They’re never uniform. This isn’t an Oreo. Paul Hollywood would lose his mind at this recipe. It's not meant to be perfect. This is homemade, baby! If you’re feeling big cookie, cut fewer wedges. If you’re thinking baby cookie, cut more. Or mix it up. Your call. Roll wedges from the outside in to the point making a crescent shape.
  8. Bake these on a cookie sheet until very lightly brown. Honestly, I’ve no idea how long to bake these. My recipe from Mom says “cook until brown.” But they’re no good “brown.” They’re good lightly brown. I’d start checking at eight minutes just because, well, no way will they cook in that time but you’ll have a sense of when to pull them out.
  9. And additional note here: the butter and sugar filling will ooze out while baking. I don’t grease my pans because the butter usually makes the rest easy to lift off, something I scrape away before putting another batch on to bake so I won’t get burnt on filling all over my baking tray. So I can’t share whether things will go awry or not if you grease your pans. That said, beware the ooze and remember to scrape!
  10. Finish those up with a sprinkle with powdered sugar. I usually put the powdered sugar in a sifter or a mesh-topped canister to give it a light touch.
  11. After that, try not to shove ten of them in your mouth all at once. Put them in a tin. Allow your family to have some. Share the love.


Important note: You either need an extra six hours to make these or you need to make the dough the day before so it can rest. It sucks to forget that and then get your groove on for Yeast Crescents, start to get sorted to make them at six o’clock at night and then find out you have to carve out time the next day to finish them. So allow me to save you a lot of heartbreak right off the bat.

This makes a ton of cookies.

We still used to double the recipe.

I wouldn’t dream of making these at any time but Christmas. But create your own traditions with them. My Gramma Moutaw and Mom would love it if you did.

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