My Mother-in-law kindly shared this recipe for her crisp and buttery sand tarts, which she spent a lot of time making in a bakery owned by a distant ex-Amish relative of mine (the world is especially small in the Amish and Mennonite circles). We like to get together annually for a Christmas Cookie day and these sand tarts are always on the menu. These Sand Tarts are especially fun now that the kids are old enough to help with sprinkles and cutting the shapes with cookie cutters! For photos and notes on these Sand Tarts be sure to keep scrolling beyond the recipe.
Yield: Roughly 50 thin cookies (these can easily be frozen).
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Amish Sand Tarts
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temp
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 5 cups flour all purpose
- 1 egg for egg wash
- Sprinkles or brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (after cookies have chilled).
- Cream the butter and sugar well, then add eggs and whisk until smooth. Add vanilla and almond extract and then stir to combine. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix again (you may wish to transfer to a stand mixture because the dough gets pretty stiff), until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated.
- Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 3 hours, or overnight (if the dough is chilled overnight you will need to allow it to sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours so that is softens enough to roll).
- Sprinkle extra flour over the countertop and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the sand tart cookie dough in thin sheets (working in batches) and use your preferred cookie cutters to shape the sand tarts. Transfer the cookies to large cookie sheets greased with butter or cooking spray.
- Brush the tops of the sand tarts with egg wash and then sprinkle with sprinkles of your choice or brown sugar. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the sand tarts begin to color.
These sand tarts can be kept at room temperature for up to 7 days and they also freeze well for up to 3 months. More notes and photos below.
If you love Amish cookies be sure to check out this list of my recipes from Amish friends and Family!
- Amish Sugar Cookies
- Amish Pumpkin Whoopie pies
- Amish Chocolate chip cookies
- Chunky M&M Cookies
- Amish Pumpkin cookies with caramel frosting
Ingredients as listed for the cookie dough.
Step 1: Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs and extracts combining until smooth between each addition.
I prefer the butter to be softened just to room temperature. If the butter is too warm it will not whip nicely, if it is too cold you may end up with chunks. Eggs should be room temperature to keep the butter from lumping up again.
Step 1-2: Once the dry ingredients are well incorporated into the dough, cover with plastic wrap and chill for easier handling while rolling.
Step 3: Roll the cookie dough into thin sheets and cut with the cookie cutters of your choice.
Hint: This step is a lot of fun for toddlers and kids, with parental guidance!
Step 4: Brush egg wash onto the cookies and then sprinkle with sprinkles or brown sugar. More fun for the kiddos! Then transfer the cookies to the oven and bake.
I prefer these cookies done with just a tinge of browned bottom and ever so slightly golden on top. If you prefer more of a crispy sand tart you can bake them until the cookies have turned a deeper golden color. Have fun and enjoy!
My thoughts and aspirations today:
So often I can get caught up in the busy-ness of life and tend to try to find distractions for the kiddos, so that I can work in a tidier and more “peaceful” environment. While I do believe there is a time and place for this, I find it much more fulfilling if I find things for my toddlers to do to help and be involved in my work. While this may make more of a mess and may be more chaotic, it is also a great opportunity to teach my children valuable life lessons and work ethic. Growing up in the Amish and then Mennonite culture, we were often (don’t worry we also spent lots of time playing in the woods after chores) helping out in the kitchen or around the house. I did my first lawn mowing at the age of five or six (with a steel push mower) and was doing table bussing for my mother’s catering business at the age of eight. I do not consider what I did as a child, child labor or “abuse” in any way, but am extremely grateful for the valuable life lessons and work ethic I was taught. Later on in life this also helped me to find favor with my bosses, co-workers and customers. All because my parents took the time to teach us how to do practical duties around the home and in the business. What we do as parents is so important in shaping our child’s future and the next generation!
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