The Recipe Club + Swedish Crescent Cookies

Books, Christmas Recipes, Cookies, Dessert, Giveaway, Holiday Recipes, Product Reviews | 63 comments

Congratulations Amy J in SC and Jamie!

Whenever I hear about a promising food novel or memoir, I take the opportunity to write the author to propose a book review and giveaway. I love sharing these new books with my readers and helping the authors spread the word about their fabulous work. The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel is another such book. Read on for more about the book, a recipe, and how you can win one of 2 copies!

The authors of The Recipe Club effortlessly weave recipes throughout the story of two girls, Lilly and Valerie. Despite being two very different personalities, Lilly and Valerie are sworn childhood friends. The story begins with the main characters attempting to reunite after years of silence. At first all is well, but soon past misunderstandings and betrayals begin to falter Lilly and Valerie’s attempt at renewed friendship.

The novel then takes a turn to the past where the bulk of the story is told through letters exchanged between the two main characters from their childhood through young adult years. Lilly and Valerie have formed their own exclusive “Recipe Club.” With each letter one friend sends the other an accompanying recipe. The recipes themselves are beautifully formatted on their own pages and indexed in the back.

As the girls grow into women they continue exchanging letters and recipes with one another. Ultimately, Lilly and Valerie feel betrayed by one another and decide to move on with life, friendship aside, but neither has truly forgotten what they once shared. Years later, Lilly and Valerie are engrossed in a last ditch effort to recover their once beloved relationship when a terrible secret is revealed that threatens to destroy their happy memories of each other for good.

The Recipe Club will surely evoke memories of the often complex woman to woman relationships in your own life. Silliness. Fall outs. Reunions. Brutal Honesty. Beauty. Joy. Jealousy. Unconditional love. Apologies. Unspoken feelings. At times I found myself forgetting that this was a novel and not a memoir of two real life friends. It was amazing to see how this friendship grew and changed through the seasons of life, how the characters ultimately find out who they truly are as individuals, and in the end find their way back to one another. You’ll have to read the book to find out if they’ve found their way back for good, or only temporarily.

These Swedish Crescent Cookies are perfect for the Holidays and easy to make. Add some citrus zest (lemon, lime, or orange) for a little extra flavor and substitute different nuts for variations. Using a food processor to finely chop the nuts makes these cookies a breeze!

Swedish Crescent Cookies

adapted from The Recipe Club

Print Save Recipe


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, plus additional for coating
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
zest of one lemon


In a bowl, beat the butter and 1/2 cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the almond extract, yolk. Beat till combined. Slowly stir in the in the flour, nuts, and zest.

For the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc shape. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove a heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, shaping into crescent shapes. Arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are lightly golden around the edges, about 15-20 minutes. While still warm, coat the cookies with confectioners sugar. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 3 dozen.

The Rules:

  • Comment on THIS post by 11:59 pm PST December 20th
  • Anonymous comments: leave your email address and first name in the comments.
  • 2 random winners will be announced December 21st.
  • Contest open to US and Canadian Residents only.

Extra Entries: Additional entries can be earned by doing any of the following, giving you a total of 3 entries. Leave a separate comment for each of your entries.

  • Tweet about this giveaway. Include @goodLifeEats and a link to the giveaway in your tweet. Leave the link to your Twitter post in a comment.
  • Subscribe to goodLife {eats} via email or RSS reader. New Subscribers only.

p.s. Thanks so much to whoever is my Secret Santa. Your sweet gift arrived on what was a very hectic and trying day and I so appreciated it. It definitely brightened the mood. The towels were perfect and I used one in the photo for this post.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Kelly - December 17, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

    This book sounds really sweet!


  • 2
    Maria - December 17, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

    I can't keep up with you and your books:) Slow down so I can catch up..ha! This one is going on my list too!


  • 3
    Catey - December 17, 2009 @ 9:15 pm

    Sounds like a great book-I love that there are recipes woven in to the story!


  • 4
    Katie @ Frugal Femina - December 17, 2009 @ 9:18 pm

    Those are too cute, as usual. Love the book!


  • 5
    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking - December 17, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

    Oooh want! Lovely little crescents. I also tweeted about the giveaway (or really, retweeted your original tweet about it!)I have no idea how to link to the individual tweet, but I don't tweet much… easy to find here:


  • 6
    Renee - December 17, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

    love this recipe can't wait until the weekend so i can try it!!renee


  • 7
    hcrjfrandall - December 17, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

    Can't wait to try the recipe and the book sounds like a great read!


  • 8
    Anonymous - December 17, 2009 @ 10:10 pm

    I love these cookies! Maybe I should try to make them! :)


  • 9
    Crystal - December 17, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

    Sounds like a great Christmas cookie and a good read to boot! Thanks!


  • 10
    Cecilia - December 17, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

    Sounds like a sweet book. Thanks for sharing.


  • 11
    JenB - December 17, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

    I love books like this!


  • 12
    Jenn in GA - December 17, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

    can't WAIT to read this–it would fantastic to WIN it! thanks for the opportunity…


  • 13
    Jenn in GA - December 17, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

    here's my tweet…hope i did this right. i'm a twitter novice.


  • 14
    bcjcdc - December 17, 2009 @ 11:32 pm

    Yum! I keep seeing that book and consider buying it. I think the recipe may have convinced me.


  • 15
    Christina - December 17, 2009 @ 11:43 pm

    Those look really good!


  • 16
    oneordinaryday - December 18, 2009 @ 12:11 am

    What a great idea to match a giveaway with your book review. Sounds like a great novel. Thanks for the chance to win it!


  • 17
    Courtney - December 18, 2009 @ 12:29 am

    this looks like a fantastic book! cookingupafamily(at)gmail(dot)com


  • 18
    Courtney - December 18, 2009 @ 12:31 am
  • 19
    Jo - December 18, 2009 @ 12:44 am

    Who can go wrong with this being added to the Christmas basket of cookies. Yum!


  • 20
    scorpiowoman - December 18, 2009 @ 1:00 am

    This cookbook looks great and the recipe also.


  • 21
    scorpiowoman - December 18, 2009 @ 1:05 am
  • 22
    Kaity K - December 18, 2009 @ 2:10 am

    Recipes intertwined in novels are the best! Definitely going to be a Christmas read :) kkeeg672@yahoo.comKaity


  • 23
    Anonymous - December 18, 2009 @ 2:30 am

    saw this on tastespotting…this is an old family recipe that we have made since i was a little girl. the addition of lemon zest seems like a lovely idea. yum. enjoy


  • 24
    Rachel - December 18, 2009 @ 2:45 am

    I just found your blog…this book sounds amazing and I would love a chance to win it. Thanks so much for the great review and for offering a chance to win one!


  • 25
    Rachel - December 18, 2009 @ 2:46 am

    And I'm subscribing via Google Reader now! :)


  • 26
    GF Gidget - December 18, 2009 @ 2:52 am

    I'm already subscribed to your blog through Google Reader! I would love the chance to read this book!


  • 27
    jenny - December 18, 2009 @ 3:02 am

    2 years ago i dropped the box of these when bringing them up from the basement. my mother refused to put the "fingers" out on any cookie platter. i ate them all =)


  • 28
    Sarah - December 18, 2009 @ 4:16 am

    Those cookies remind me of my mum's shortbreads, jazzed up – but that book looks incredible! I saved it to my Amazon wishlist too!


  • 29
    Sarah - December 18, 2009 @ 4:18 am

    Here's my Twitter link: I just subscribed on my RSS feedreader!


  • 30
    Anonymous - December 18, 2009 @ 4:20 am

    This book looks fantastic – can't wait to read it!Pamela (


  • 31
    Anonymous - December 18, 2009 @ 4:28 am
  • 32
    Anonymous - December 18, 2009 @ 5:25 am

    I can't wait to read thisilysen


  • 33
    dining room set - December 18, 2009 @ 6:09 am

    This is a new shape of a cookie that my kids would love. They are tired of the round ones and also the star-shaped one. Thanks for sharing!


  • 34
    Janet Price - December 18, 2009 @ 10:14 am

    When my father was courting my mother and visiting her, my grandmother–who spoke with a strong german accent–passed around a plate of these cookies. She said what sounded to him like "vould you like a turt?" That was apparently what these cookies were called in her family. I don't know the proper spelling and she was unaware of how this was understood by my father. But you can guess what these cookies were called ever after by us kids.


  • 35
    Jason Sandeman - December 18, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

    I love the recipe! My wife's babbi made something that is very similar to this. Unfortunately she is in her elder 92 years, so she just does not have the strength to keep it up. There are many Christmases where I fondly remember receiving those cookies. If there is something that could patch up a relationship, it would definitely be those cookies.


  • 36
    Deb - December 18, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

    This sounds like a lovely book and a perfect fit for my book club. Thanks for the review.


  • 37
    squirrelbread - December 18, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

    I've been hearing a lot about that book. It's definitely on my to-read list. And I love the crescents!Cheers,*Heather*


  • 38
    Lauren - December 18, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

    I just found your blog, and its fabulous! The book sounds great as well. I subscribed in google reader =D.


  • 39
    carolpie - December 18, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

    This sounds like a good read. I enjoyed Julie and Julia a lot so this would be a book I think I would also love to read!spencer1953 at gmail dot com-carol.


  • 40
    carolpie - December 18, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

    I follow and tweet!~


  • 41
    Anonymous - December 18, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

    This is one of my very favorite cookies and I love the crescent


  • 42
    Anonymous - December 18, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

    that looks like a really good read!


  • 43
    Amy J in SC - December 18, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

    Sounds like a great book. And I remember my grandmother making these cookies – a favorite!Merry Christmas Katie!


  • 44
    Liz - December 18, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

    My husband will love these cookies. I may have to try them this weekend if we get snowed in!


  • 45
    megan - December 18, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

    this book sounds like something I would love. Great idea for a giveaway :)


  • 46
    ibabell - December 18, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

    This too is one of my favorite cookies. Thanks for the great giveaway offer!


  • 47
    Carole - December 18, 2009 @ 11:11 pm

    Count me in,please. I read 2 – 3 books a week and wold like to read


  • 48
    angela@spinachtiger - December 19, 2009 @ 1:38 am

    I love novels around food, since I"m writing one myself. Now I have to read this. Nice post.


  • 49
    g-girl - December 19, 2009 @ 1:58 am

    thanks for recommending this book!! it sounds like a good one. :) i wish there were more books out there that weaved a great storyline with some equally great recipes!


  • 50
    Michele - December 19, 2009 @ 4:29 am

    Your cresent recipe looks great – it's really cold here, which is really good for baking! Thanks for the chance to win the book – my daughter specially loves reading cooking-related books, so this would be a great gift for her…


  • 51
    Ashley - December 19, 2009 @ 6:33 am

    Adorable cookies. That sounds like a really good book! I'm in a huge reading mood right now.


  • 52
    nicole - December 19, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

    this sounds like a great book to share with friends!


  • 53
  • 54
    cakescraps - December 19, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

    I've been looking for a new book to read…this would be great!!


  • 55
    cookbookapprentice - December 19, 2009 @ 8:05 pm

    This book sounds wonderful! I love the idea of blending a novel with recipes.


  • 56
    Daniela - December 19, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    I subscribed via email :)


  • 57
    Daniela - December 19, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    The book looks wonderful!


  • 58
    Tania - December 19, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

    I SO want to read this book! Thanks for the chance!


  • 59
    Jennifer - December 19, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

    Oh, do these cookies ever look amazing!!


  • 60
    Susan - December 20, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

    Thank you for the recipe and for recommending the book. I plan on buying the book and making the cookies. Merry Christmas!


  • 61
    Anonymous - December 20, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

    I'm making these cookies today!


  • 62
    jerseygirl137 - December 20, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

    Wow, I didn't even know this was a giveaway. I just re-visited the post to print off the recipe. LOL! They looked so good I bought all the stuff to make them.I'm Sharonjerseygirl137(at)yahoo(dot)com


  • 63
    jenn - December 23, 2009 @ 2:34 am

    sounds like an amazing book! I"m going to look for it at my local chapters! Its right up my alley….good novel and recipes! hello!!!! lol thanks!


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