diy project: marnie’s austrian crescents + felt gift pouch

I’ve been browsing for great gift ideas for many weeks now, and I find myself constantly drawn back to the Australian based site Elk Accessories. Created by partners Adam and Marnie, Elk pieces are made from simple materials like resin, wood, and ceramic. The designs are organic and cute, and the entire collection is very budget friendly, which is perfect for a long list of gifts.

Marnie also happens to be a skilled baker, and when she’s not designing jewelry and accessories you can probably find her whipping something up in the kitchen. She was kind enough to share one of her family’s traditional Christmas cookie recipes with us, along with a great felt pouch featuring an adorable birdie design from her line.

This little baking/sewing project is a great option for an inexpensive yet thoughtful (and delicious) gift. If you want add a little something to the package, you should check out Marnie’s variety of cute jewelry pieces made from wood, resin, ceramic and glass. I’m considering making dozens of these birds and adding them to all my gifts a little tie-on treats. Thanks for sharing, Marnie! —Kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


These little cookies are so easy to make.  They are a family favorite and present every year at the Elk family Christmas table. They make a lovely gift as they keep for a couple of weeks and they are not sickly sweet, so perfect with a cup of herbal tea.

I discovered this original recipe in a large rusted cookie tin full of handwritten recipes from my late Grandmother, who was a wonderful cook always in a kitchen which smelled of apple pie and warm cookies. Most of the recipes, including this one, were written on scraps of paper, backs of envelopes and food labels. The papers have all yellowed over time and many are stained from the greasy fingers of busy cooks.

The Austrian Nut Crescent recipe has been revived and will remain a constant at Christmas until the recipe finds its way back into the old biscuit tin for the next generation to discover. —Marnie

Materials for the gift bag:

  • 3 scraps of felt at least 4″ square (yellow, white, and light grey)
  • 12″ x 8″ piece of dark grey felt
  • black thread
  • yellow yarn
  • yarn needle
  • pins
  • glue (any craft or fabric glue will work)
  • scissors
  • template for birdie

Materials for the Austrian Crescent Rolls:

  • 250gm softened butter (lightly salted butter is best)
  • 2 cups mixed nuts (Marnie uses a combination of pecans, macadamias, hazelnuts and peeled almonds)
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup fine sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod scraped for the seeds (you can replace with 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cinnamon


For the Austrian Crescent Rolls:

1. Pre heat the oven to 160C (320F).

2. Start by roasting the nuts in the oven until golden.

3. When the nuts have cooled, finely chop them in a blender.

4. Cream the butter, seeds from the vanilla bean and sugar together until light in color and smooth.

5. Stir the flour, nuts and spice into the butter mix in 2 batches.

6. Form crescent shapes and place on baking paper on a tray and bake until golden (approx. 15 – 20 minutes).

7. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar and a little extra cinnamon.

{Note: the biscuits will be very crumbly when they are warm. Once they have cooled they will hold together nicely}

For the Felt Bag with Bird Gift Tie:

1.  Print the template and cut out the shapes for each section of the bird.

2. Pin the sections to the corresponding colored felt and cut out shapes.

3. Flow the instructions on the template sheet for where to glue and where to stitch on the bird shape.

4. Take the dark grey felt and fold in half lengthwise to create a rectangle 6″ x 8″. Thread your yellow yarn through the large needle and stitch through the bottom and loose side of the rectangle to create a an enclosed bag.

5. Stitch a long piece of twine or yellow yarn to the back of your birdie to secure the two together. Use your birdie as a tie closure for the bag.

6. Fill with several Austrian crescent rolls and give to someone special.


  1. Maria says:

    Love these! Great idea!

  2. gretchen says:

    This is darling and so unusual! I’ve never seen cookies like these before.
    I *think* that they are Australian though and not Austrian.

  3. Blair says:

    I LOVE THIS!!! Question: any guesses at approx how many cookies this recipe makes?

  4. Lucila says:

    This is such a great and cute idea. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  5. AL says:

    Superbe! Excellent idea!

  6. Phebe says:

    These are as Austrian as they get.

    (There are no kangaroos in Austria)

    1. grace says:


      the creator of this project is based in australia- no one is saying the cookies are. they’re identified as austrian several times ;)


  7. These look like the cookies I grew up with. My grandmother was German and she made about five or seven Christmas cookies every year and this was one. To this day if a huge platter of cookies are in front of me, I will choose this one! Such a great way to give the cookies in this soft little bag!
    I will have to try this recipe and see if it is the same.. Thanks!

  8. courtney says:

    i just baked these and they melted completely into a bar cookie! what happened? i googled the conversion for the butter and it said 2 sticks….is that wrong?

  9. Emily says:

    yeah, that seems like a lot of butter. i’d like to make these though, they sound great. i was wondering where the felt came from and if it left little fuzzies on the cookies?

  10. Emily says:

    Also, isn’t grey and yellow such a good combination? If only a holiday were grey and yellow themed.

  11. Eugénie says:

    If only i could translate the recipe well in french !! It seems so delicious !!

  12. Erica says:

    how many cookies will one batch make?

  13. Sarahfina says:

    that bird would look real cute in yellow too, especially against they gray….yummy combo

  14. eva says:

    This is great idea aside from you mentioned that this is budget friendly, perfect present for our love one too!

  15. marnie says:

    hi everyone, thanks for your great feedback! we thought the austria/australia name might be confusing! i am in australia but the cookies do originate from austria!

    here are some answers for you:

    – the recipe makes around 30 cookies
    – we recommend you put the cookies into a celophane bag before you put them into the felt
    – the butter quantity is a lot but its the only moisture to keep them together. adjust the recipe with flour if needed

    Good luck! Marnie x

  16. Katie Bee says:

    These look so good and I’m wondering, could anything be substituted for the nuts for someone who’s allergic to tree nuts?

  17. Lindsey says:

    I made the cookies and used christmas colors to make the bags with and they were a hit! Thanks for the idea!

  18. can I substitute vanilla extract for the beans/paste? I can’t afford the beans:(
    and if so, how would I adjust the other liquid to compensate?

  19. Kim O'Brien says:

    On my vanilla bean bottle it states that one vanilla bean equals one tbsp of vanilla extract. These taste divine. Just wish mine were prettier. They spread out on the pan and don’t represent crescents, even in the abstract sense.

  20. Simone Eisold says:

    but the dough in the fridge to cool (1-2 hours) before baking. helps to keep the shape of the cookie while baking.

  21. Karlla says:

    My two young children and I did this together as a Teacher Appreciation project, and included a heart-shaped tea strainer and some nice loose tea in a muslin bag for them. It was a huge hit and the kids were very proud of themselves. Thanks for the lovely idea!

  22. Verena says:

    They actually are Austrian :) I’m from there and we make them every year. We do make them a lot thiner and put powder sugar on top ;)

  23. velia says:

    250 gr of butter equals ONE stick of butter.


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