A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch treat, sand tart cookies are a crisp, buttery, rolled sugar cookie. You’ll love this easier slice-and-bake recipe!

Stack of red and green decorated sugar cookies.

Just like Grandma used to make, but easier! I love the convenience of slice-and-bake cookies. Mix up the dough, form it into logs, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake. Slice into thin rounds and bake. A fresh cookie in minutes!

With a crisp delicate texture, and buttery sweet flavor, sand tart cookies are really irresistible. I like to make them on the small side, so I can eat more than one. Sand tarts are perfect on a holiday cookie platter and really go well with any beverage. Coffee, tea, or milk are great or serve them with homemade Ginger Spiced Hot Chocolate or an Apple Cider Mule for a special treat. Or nibble on a couple of cookies while sipping a glass of wine.

This is another one of my grandma’s favorite recipes from her stained and tattered school cookbook. We always called them sand cookies. I thought it was because of the texture, kind of grainy (in a good way!) or sandy from the sugar. Upon doing a bit of research, I found that that their true name is Sand Tart Cookies. Interesting.

This is originally a German (Deutsch) cookie that “immigrated” to the United States. It’s so cool to find recipes from around the world in my grandma’s well-worn cookbook.

Cookies and milk on a brown wooden tray.

About these sand tart cookies:

Most of the recipes for this traditional Pennsylvania Dutch cookie use chilled dough that you roll very thin and cut with a cookie cutter. Some bakers press sliced almonds, or a pecan half into the dough, brush with an egg wash, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before baking. Others roll the dough into small balls and bake. These are fine baking methods but more labor intensive. My motto is keep things simple!

Slice and bake cookies, or refrigerator/icebox cookies, are easy and convenient. Before baking, sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar to make them a bit more festive for the holidays. They’re great sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, too. 

Stack of slice and bake cookies with red and green decorators sugar.

What’s in sand tarts?

I can assure you, there’s no sand in sand tarts! The ingredients are simple and I bet you already have everything you need in your sandbox, er, I mean, pantry. 

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Baking soda, and pinch of salt

Cookies decorated with red and green sugar, milk in background.

How to make these slice and bake cookies your own:

  • Before baking, sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar to add a colorful touch for the holidays. 
  • For a more traditional sand tart, press almond slices or a pecan half into the cookie before baking. Brush the tops with an egg wash (one egg white, lightly beaten) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips

Tightly wrapped cookie dough logs can be refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for a month. If the dough is frozen, thaw it on the counter for an hour before you slice it. Baked cookies keep well in a tightly sealed container for a week on the counter, a couple weeks in the fridge, or a month in the freezer. 

Cookies and milk on a brown wooden tray.

Slice and Bakes are the best!

Loving the idea of these easy slice-and-bake refrigerator cookies? Read on for more great recipes.

 

Stack of sand tartsugar cookies with red and green sugar.

Sand Tart Cookies (Slice & Bake Buttery Sugar Cookies)

Yield: 6 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch treat, sand tart cookies are a crisp, buttery, rolled sugar cookie. You'll love this easier slice-and-bake recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned into measuring cup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  1. In large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well-blended. Add flour and soda. Mix well until flour is completely incorporated.
  2. Divide dough into three parts and shape into three logs, about twelve inches long. Wrap well in parchment paper or waxed paper. 
  3. Refrigerate dough at least overnight or up to a week. It can also be frozen for up to a month. Thaw frozen dough on the counter for one hour before slicing.
  4. When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. With a sharp knife, cut logs into ¼ inch slices. Place on cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart and bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Cool on baking sheet five minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Before baking, sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar to add a colorful touch for the holidays. 
  • For a more traditional sand tart, press almond slices or a pecan half into the cookie before baking. Brush the tops with an egg wash (one egg white, lightly beaten) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram