Flaky Sweetheart Crescent Cookies

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Buttery and flaky with just a little chew from the meringue nut filling inside–these cookies aren’t easy to make, but are worth the effort! Joanie G. asked us to find the recipe which she remembered making from a flour/sour cream/butter/yeast dough rolled around a nut meringue. We found two versions: One, a Yugoslav Kifle (Filled Butterhorn) once appeared on Fleischmann’s Yeast package labels. The other, a Flaky Sweetheart Crescent (this recipe), was a winning recipe from Mrs. Doris Komperda of Milwaukee, WI, in a Pillsbury Grand National Bakeoff. The latter recipe is included in the 1959 volume: “Pillsbury’s Best 1000 Recipes: Best of the Bake-Off Collection,”–just re-released last year by Wiley Publishing, Inc. and reprinted with permission here. Testing both recipes, we found the Yugoslav Kifle recipe easier (dough was more manageable) but the Flaky Sweetheart Crescent tastier (more buttery and flaky.) Try both to see which you prefer.

Makes 32 pastries

For crescent dough Ingredients

  • 4 cups Pillsbury’s Best All Purpose Four
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 packet active dry yeast

For meringue-nut filling Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup finely-chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Sift flour and salt into large mixing bowl. Cut in butter until fine. Set aside.
  2. In small bowl, blend egg yolks with sour cream. Add 1 tsp vanilla and dry yeast. Mix well. Add to flour-butter mixture and stir to form dough.
  3. Gather dough into a ball. Separate into four equal portions. If dough is to difficult to gather, sprinkle with just enough ice water to make a more-manageable dough.
  4. Refrigerate dough for up to two days. When ready to bake, let dough stand at room temperature for 1 hour before rolling out.
  5. In the meantime, make the filling by beating egg whites until stiff. Stir in one cup sugar 3/4 cup ground pecans and 1 tsp vanilla
  6. Roll out dough on surface sprinkled with sugar. Roll to 11-inch circle, 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Spread 1 Tbsp filling at the wide end of each wedge. Starting at the wide end of each wedge, carefully roll to point to make crescent.
  7. Grease baking sheet. Place crescents point-side down on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden.

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