Sand Tarts are thin, crisp, buttery, cinnamon sugar cookies with almond slices on top. This Sand Tart recipe is a classic cookie recipe that is perfect for any season.
I stumbled on this recipe for Sand Tarts when I was going through my mother-in-law’s recipe box. I had never heard of them but she said they were delicious, and after giving them a try myself I have to agree!
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Anytime I find a new recipe I like to do a little digging to see where it originated. I didn’t find a lot online about Sand Tart cookies but a few places mentioned that Sand Tarts are a Pennsylvania Dutch, or Amish, Christmas cookie. My husband has a lot of family in Pennsylvania so it seems like that’s a good possibility.
Wherever they came from I glad the recipe ended up in my mother-in-law’s recipe box because these crisp, buttery, cookies are awesome. They are thin, delicate cookies that have a great crunch and just the right amount of cinnamon sugar flavor. When they came out of the oven I was all, “What’s the big deal?”, then I ate one…and then another…and another…these crispy cookies aren’t fancy but they are totally addictive!
Tips for making Sand Tarts:
- The dough is very soft. I experimented with chilling the dough and not chilling the dough and honestly didn’t think it made a difference. These cookies are made to spread and become very thin.
- Yes, it is really a 1 teaspoon scoop of dough. I know, I didn’t believe it either, but 1 (slightly overflowing) teaspoon of dough make the perfect size ball for these Sand Tarts. Like I said, they spread, so even though it seems like such a small cookie they will be much bigger once they bake.
- Place them at least 2 inches apart. Because they spread so much you want to give them plenty of room to grow.
Sand Tart cookies get their name from their appearance. They are thin, round cookies with almond slices on top that make them look like sand dollars. The original recipe and the few places I could find these cookies online didn’t really give great instructions on how to decorate Sand Tarts so I came up with my own method.
How to Decorate Sand Tarts:
- Roll 1 teaspoon of dough into a ball and then roll it in the cinnamon sugar.
- Place balls on a lined baking sheet 2 inches apart and use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to lightly press on each ball of dough and slightly flatten it.
- On top of each ball of dough place 5 thinly sliced almonds in a star shape. I know, it’s such a small ball of dough, just trust me. Bunch the almond slices together in the middle. They will hang over the edges of the dough but don’t worry, as the dough spreads the almond slices will bake into it. They won’t be perfectly placed but perfection is over-rated ;).
Want more cookie recipes?
- Berger Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies
- Gingersnap Cookies
- Soft Gingerbread Cookies
- Trail Mix Cookies
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- 1 cup Butter, unsalted
- 1 ½ cups Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 cups All-purpose Flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 3 tablespoons Sugar, granulated
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- Sliced almonds, for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream butter in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment on medium speed until fluffy.
- Gradually add sugar and beat until combined.
- Add eggs and vanilla to the mixture and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
- Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together and then add to the mixture ½ a cup at a time, mixing on low until the dough is formed.
- Let the dough stand for about 30 mins.
- In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar stirring well.
- Roll a teaspoon of dough into a ball and then roll in cinnamon sugar.
- Place balls of cookie dough 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet
- Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to lightly press on each ball of dough and slightly flatten it.
- Decorate each piece of dough with 5 sliced almonds in a star shape.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned around edges.
- Remove from oven and let the cookie cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.