Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Kiersten James

Here is the best recipe for Amish sand tarts – Pennsylvania Dutch style.

A deliciously thin, crisp cookie sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and optional chopped nuts as a topping, Pennsylvania Dutch sand tarts are only made during Christmas time.

I think the strict adherence to holiday traditions is simply what makes sand tart cookies so special. They only come out of the oven but once each year!

This Amish sand tarts recipe is easy enough for children to participate and very adaptable for families.

A stand mixer will make the dough making process faster, but I have also made these by hand without any problem.

Amish Sand Tarts Ingredients

Amish sand tarts contain your usual brown sugar, butter, eggs, flour, vanilla extract, cream of tartar, and baking soda.

What Is Cream of Tartar?

Cream of tartar is a powdered form of acid which prevents the sugar from crystallizing. It is used in baking when you want the final product to be crispy instead of chewy. Amish sand tarts should snap when broken in half – cream of tartar helps this along.

Cream of tartar can be found in the baking or spice aisle of your grocery store. If you don’t have any on hand, this can be swapped out for vinegar or lemon juice.

Use double the amount of vinegar than the cream of tartar amount called for in a recipe.

For example, this recipe for Amish sand tarts requires 1/2 teaspoon. If you don’t have cream of tartar, you will use 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice instead.

Amish Sand Tarts Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk for a topping
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Cinnamon and sugar for the topping

Steps to Make

In a large bowl or using a stand mixer, cream the softened butter and brown sugar together.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract.

Slowly stir in the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Do this by hand with a wooden spoon or using the paddle attachment for the mixer on low speed.

The dough will be very heavy and thick – this is what you want!

Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight.

brown cookie dough divided into thirds on a black granite countertop

After chilling, divide the dough into thirds and roll it out on a floured surface until it is very thin – about 1/8″ thick or as thin as possible. Preheat your oven to 350F.

Cut out the dough into whatever shapes you would like with cookie cutters. Use a metal spatula or dough cutter to help lift the cookie shapes off of the counter as they will be delicate before baking.

Transfer onto a greased or nonstick cookie sheet.

Brush the cookies with an egg wash and sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture. I mix a tablespoon of cane sugar with a teaspoon of sugar for this.

If you like, and don’t have any nut allergies in the family, you can press a pecan or almond into the center of the cookies or sprinkle chopped nuts on top after adding the cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 350F on the center racks for about 8 to 10 minutes until the edges are beginning to brown. Transfer to a cooling rack with a spatula.

How to Store Amish Sand Tarts Cookies

The best way to store Amish sand tarts is in an airtight container.

You can also line a metal cookie tin with a sheet of wax paper if you are making these for Christmas. They will keep this way for about a week without losing their quality.

More Recipes for Holiday Inspiration

Easy Amish Apple Butter

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes (Without Brown Sugar)

The BEST Amish Sand Tarts Recipe (Pennsylvania Dutch)

The BEST Amish Sand Tarts Recipe (Pennsylvania Dutch)

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 38 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs - divide the yolks from the whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Cinnamon and sugar for the topping

Instructions

      1. In a large bowl or using a stand mixer, cream the softened butter and brown sugar together.
      2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract.
      3. Slowly stir in the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Do this by hand with a wooden spoon or using the paddle attachment for the mixer on low speed. The dough will be very heavy and thick - this is what you want!
      4. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight.
      5. After chilling, divide the dough into thirds and roll it out on a floured surface until it is very thin - about 1/8" thick or as thin as possible.
      6. Preheat your oven to 350F.
      7. Cut out the dough into whatever shapes you would like with cookie cutters. Use a metal spatula or dough cutter to help lift the cookie shapes off of the counter as they will be delicate before baking. Transfer onto a greased or nonstick cookie sheet.
      8. Brush the cookies with an egg wash and sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture. I mix a tablespoon of cane sugar with a teaspoon of sugar for this.
      9. If you like, and don't have any nut allergies in the family, you can press a pecan or almond into the center of the cookies or sprinkle chopped nuts on top after the cinnamon sugar.
      10. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes unti the edges start to turn golden brown. Cool on cooking racks before handling.

Pin It For Later!

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts