Modern Baker Challenge: Swiss Walnut Crescents

Every so often I realize there’s a blog post that I’ve drafted, and maybe even redrafted, and then forgotten about. And then suddenly I realize that this was eight months ago. (Or longer. I have a post on a cranberry tart from last November that it went stale–I could hardly publish it in April–though I suppose that’s less of a problem).

I’m not that delayed on everything. Though I made these Swiss Walnut Crescents from the Modern Baker puff pastry chapter back in February, we are only now officially posting for this chapter in the Modern Baker Challenge. So, I’m on time after all.

And even though I made these a while back, I remember them well (and not just because they were delicious!) Making the filling was unusual–the first step is to soak and rehydrate bread crumbs in milk. Only then do you add the chopped walnuts, sugar, and other flavorings. Who would have thought that dried bread crumbs form the base for a rich filling?


As with most of the puff pastry recipes, once you have your puff pastry dough made, the rest is smooth sailing. Compared to pie dough, puff seems to roll out almost effortlessly and doesn’t need to be treated so gingerly. Making the little crescent-shaped rolls is one of those things that looks tricky and finicky but actually effortless. Fold the top two corners of your triangle towards the center to encase the filling, then roll up your packet towards the third point of your triangle. Make sure this tip is tucked under your final roll, flush against the cookie sheet, so your pretty crescents don’t unravel during baking.

Chill the rolls in the refrigerator for an hour (though less delicate than pie dough, puff pastry is subject to the same rules: cold cold cold), paint with egg wash, and bake.

Golden brown on the outside…

And on the inside: just look at these flaky layers!

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12 thoughts on “Modern Baker Challenge: Swiss Walnut Crescents

  1. Those look gorgeous…I think I am responsible for posting this officially at the site…can I see if Phyl will use yours instead? I am way behind and actually thinking of skipping this whole section. If not, I understand, it’s just a wonderful post and your photos are really nice. Great job!!

    • Oh thanks so much! I took these before I got my new lens so I appreciate hearing they aren’t too bad after all! I’ve reset my goal on modern baker to just make a few things per chapter which still is worth it and teaches you a lot. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to try puff though–I think it’s so amazing, especially where Nick’s method makes it easy rather than a 36 hour process!

  2. WOW! I am sitting here before I eat lunch and read this fabulous sounding recipe. So I may have to get something to eat before I can even finish my comment. I really like the way that you picture the step by step process for completing your project and the end result looks super great.

  3. I do that all the time with my posts. I’m so distracted by my daughter I don’t know which end is up half the time. Your cookies look wonderful. Better late than never! xo

  4. They look luscious! However I wonder why they are called Swiss (the nuts are maybe Swiss?) because I have never seen anything like this in Switzerland 😉

  5. Pingback: Italian Prune Plum Galette | Three Clever Sisters

  6. This looks very tasty…! Love the flaky consistency of the pastry:-). I’ve never made pastry my whole life because I always feel that it’s too complicated to make, but you make it sound so easy 🙂 .

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