Dutch Christmas Cookies (Jan Hagel Cookies)

Jan hagel cookies recipe

The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
120 Calories
8g Fat
11g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 120
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 76mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 13mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Add a Dutch touch to your holiday baking repertoire with these traditional cookies, which are widely enjoyed at Christmas time in the Netherlands. Flavored with almonds, cinnamon, and caramel-like crystallized sugar, they're sure to be a hit with your loved ones and may just become a new holiday tradition in your home. As easy to make as they are versatile, these seasonal cookies can be cut into squares, rectangles or diamond shapes and served with ice cream, mousse or ​sabayon, or as a tea-time treat.


  • 2 cups/200 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup/190 g granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup/230 g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Garnish: Almond slivers

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 300 F/150 C.

    Ingredients for jan hagel cookies
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon and stir to mix.

    Combine flour, sugar, salt
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  3. Cut the butter into small cubes. Rub the flour mix and the butter together between your thumb and forefingers until it resembles wet sand.

    Cut butter
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  4. Press the dough onto a greased cookie sheet, roughly forming a rectangle. Brush surface with the beaten egg and decorate with almond slivers and sugar crystals or caramel shards.

    Press dough into tray
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned.

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  6. Using a sharp knife, immediately cut into the desired shapes. Leave to cool and crisp up, before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

    Cut into rectangles
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 
  7. Serve and enjoy!


  • Use Dutch kandij (sugar crystals) to decorate your Jan Hagel cookies, but if you can't find these, simply make your own alternative. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan over a high heat (do not stir). The second the sugar liquefies completely, decant the liquid sugar onto waiting parchment paper. Try to pour it thinly. The sugar will set into a crisp disk. Once cooled, simply chop into shards—a mezzaluna knife works well here. The larger shards will remain crispy as the cookies bake, while the smaller ones will melt into the cookies—delicious either way.