Heidesand Recipe - Shortbread Refrigerator Cookies

Stack of Heidesand Shortbread Cookies
Heidesand Shortbread Cookies. J.McGavin
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Needs overnight refrigeration: 12 hrs 1 mins
  • Yield: 4-5 dozen cookies (12 servings)

Heidesand is a shortbread cookie named after a Northern German landscape, the Lüneberg Heath ("Lünerberger Heide"). The ground there is made up of sand left over from glaciers although it is miles from the ocean. These shortbread refrigerator cookies are melt in your mouth and feel a bit sandy. Vanilla and browned butter make them delicious.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (230 grams, after browning 170 grams)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (150 grams)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Mark from 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla flavor
  • 2 1/4 cup flour (275 grams)

Steps to Make It

  1. Melt the butter in a pan and cook it until it starts to brown and takes on a good aroma. Do not let it burn. Pour the butter into a bowl to cool and refrigerate until firm.

  2. Cut the cold butter into pieces and mix with the sugar, salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

  3. Mix in the flour to form a stiff dough.

  4. Form the dough into two rolls, one to one and a half inches in diameter. Roll these in granulated sugar. If you have large crystal sugar it makes a very nice decoration.

  5. Wrap in plastic foil and refrigerate overnight.

  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350°F for a half an hour.

  7. Cut the roll of dough with a sharp knife into 1/4 inch slices.

  8. Place the cookie dough on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until cookies are set and slightly browned.

  9. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool completely. If they are still warm when you touch them, they could disintegrate (they are very tender).

  10. Store at room temperature.

Note: Because there are so few ingredients in these cookies, you will have the best results if you choose fresh butter and real vanilla.