Sand tarts are thin, crispy butter cookies that are hard to resist. Eat one and you may quickly find yourself munching more than you expected. They're a holiday tradition in many families and this recipe makes a few dozen, so there's plenty to share.
These cookies are rolled out and cut into shapes using your favorite cookie cutters. If you use a simple round cookie cutter, you'll notice that they look just like sand dollars. Supposedly, that's how they got their name.
While sand tarts are as easy as sugar cookies, there is one trick that sets them apart. The key to a great sand tart is to roll the cold dough very thin, right around 1/8-thick. This also makes them easier to burn, so watch carefully and pull them out of the oven as soon as they're lightly golden brown.
Before the cookies are baked, you can adorn them with delicious toppings. Almonds and pecans are a great choice, but you can skip the nuts if you like. Don't, however, skip the egg white! It's what gives these little morsels their crispness. The cinnamon sugar adds flavor and makes them perfect for winter baking.
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (9 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 egg white (lightly beaten)
- Optional: 12–18 blanched almonds (split, or 24–36 pecan halves)
- For Cinnamon Sugar:
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar and stir in the well-beaten egg.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together.
- Blend the flour mixture into the creamed mixture to make a soft dough. Set in the refrigerator to chill (about 3 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 275 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray.
- Place the cold dough between lightly floured sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper. Roll it out to about 1/8-inch thick. Knead in more flour if needed.
- Cut into decorative shapes with cookie cutters and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon until well-mixed.
- Place one split nut on each cookie, if desired. Brush the cookies with a lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 24 to 36 cookies.
Tips and Variations
While cinnamon sugar is traditional, you can use a colored sugar if you like and really dress the sand tarts up. Mix it with cinnamon if you want to keep the flavor or use the sugar on its own.
If you're putting together homebaked gifts, sand tarts make a great addition to a Christmas cookie tin. They're not as sweet or thick as other cookies, so it's a nice contrast. Pack them with something like meltaway butter cookies or molasses drop cookies for a fun combination.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||4 g|
|Saturated Fat||2 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||1 g|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g|