Heidesand cookies – classic German cookies recipe

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Heidesand cookies are the German sweet Christmas classic that you can easily make yourself with few ingredients – even vegan. The cookies taste crispy, fine, sandy, buttery and incredibly delicious. They are perfect for snacking or for giving as a gift. You can find a detailed Heidesand cookies recipe with exact amounts and step-by-step instructions right below.

Heidesand cookies recipe

What is Heidesand?

Heidesand are cookies made from shortbread dough, which are one of the classic Christmas cookies in northern Germany. The main ingredients for the dough are butter or margarine, sugar and flour. Sometimes you add vanilla, a few tablespoons of milk and some baking powder.

The Heidesand cookies are in the form of round discs or thaler. Their consistency is reminiscent of Heidesand, which is where the name comes from. Their color is also very light, like sand.

Heidesand cookies vegan

You can convert the classic Heidesand cookies recipe to vegan pretty easily. The shortbread dough for it usually doesn’t contain eggs. The only animal ingredient in the recipe is butter. You substitute it with vegan butter or margarine.

How to make Heidesand cookies

Try different flavors

You can modify the classic Heidesand cookies recipe any way you like and make the cookies in a variety of flavors.

For example, instead of rolling the dough in sugar, roll it in chopped nuts before slicing. This will give your cookies a nutty flavor. Pistachios, among others, go very well with them.

You can give the Heidesand cookies a fruity note by kneading finely chopped candied orange peel or lemon peel into the dough. Fresh orange and lemon zest also have the same effect.

For more flavor and Christmas taste, add cinnamon** to the Heidesand cookies. Mix some of it into the sugar in which you roll the dough.

If you knead some of the dough with some cocoa powder, you’ll get pretty patterned cookies with a light chocolate flavor.

You can also add different spices, like ginger powder**, to the dough. This gives the Heidesand cookies more aroma and a unique taste.

Vegan Heidesand cookies

Cookie classic for Christmas time

Heidesand cookies are, of course, a Christmas classic on the cookie plate in Germany. In addition to angel eyes cookies, snowflake cookies, vanilla crescents, Spitzbuben and cinnamon stars, they are also a must during Advent.

Not only for snacking, but also for gifting, the Heidesand cookies are perfect. Pack the pastry in a pretty cookie tin and you have a delicious homemade Christmas gift from the kitchen for your loved ones.

Don’t forget to include such classic treats as the marzipan potatoes, speculoos cookies, Dominosteine. If you also want to give away something unusual, you can still make, for example, chocolate pine cone cookies and orange cookies.

These Heidesand cookies are

  • crumbly,
  • sandy,
  • buttery,
  • crispy,
  • fine,
  • incredibly delicious,
  • vegan from me,
  • easy to make with few ingredients,
  • more delicious than from the bakery or supermarket,
  • German Christmas baking classic,
  • perfect for gift giving.

German cookie classic

Simple Heidesand cookies recipe

The Heidesand cookies recipe you’ll find here at the very bottom is very simple. Most of the time is taken not by the preparation, but by the cooling. However, the refrigerator will take care of that, and you can devote yourself to other tasks in the meantime.

First you need to melt butter and let it brown slightly. Then let it cool and solidify again. Then whip butter with sugar until creamy. Then add flour and knead it into a soft dough.

Form rolls from the dough and let them cool thoroughly. Then roll the dough rolls in sugar and cut them into bars.

Now you just have to bake the cookies. This takes about 10 minutes.

But you have to wait until the cookies have cooled down before you start snacking. Because they are very crumbly while they are still hot. So they might fall apart in your hands before they even make it to your mouth.

Vegan shortbread cookies

How to make Heidesand cookies: tips and tricks

  • The amount of flour given in the recipe here below may vary. Add the flour to the butter mixture in batches until you have a very soft dough that is not mushy, but not dry either.
  • Knead the dough only briefly, until it reaches a reasonably homogeneous consistency. If you knead it too long, butter will melt from the heat of your hands, causing the dough to absorb more and more flour. This could cause your cookies to end up tasting dry and not crumbly.
  • Don’t bake the cookies longer than necessary. After baking, they should be a very light color.
  • Right after baking, the Heidesand cookies are very tender and may crumble if you touch them. So let them cool on the baking sheet. After that, they will harden.

Did you make the Heidesand cookies using this recipe? I look forward to your results, your star rating, and your comment below here on how you liked and enjoyed the German cookies.

Looking for more sweet Christmas recipes? Try:

Heidesand cookies recipe

Heidesand cookies

Heidesand cookies are the sweet German Christmas classic that you can easily make yourself with this recipe with few ingredients – even vegan. The cookies taste crispy, fine, sandy, buttery and incredibly delicious. They are perfect for snacking or for giving as a gift.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Cooling Time 2 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Servings 65 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g (vegan) butter or margarine
  • 200 g sugar**
  • approx. 350 g flour**
  • 8 g vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

for the rolling

Instructions
 

  • Melt butter and let it brown slightly while stirring. Then put it in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for 1 - 1.5 hours until it is firm again, but still spreadable.
  • Add sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt to the butter and beat until creamy and pale, about 5 minutes.
  • Add flour in batches to the butter mixture and knead briskly and briefly to form a very soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into 3 roughly equal pieces and form each piece into a roll about Ø 3 cm wide.
  • Wrap each dough roll in baking paper or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or in the freezer for 30 minutes until firm.
  • Take the dough rolls out of the refrigerator or freezer one at a time and roll them in sugar. Carefully cut them into slices about 0.5 cm thick with a sharp knife and spread the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them generously apart.
  • Bake the Heidesand cookies in a preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat for about 10 minutes and let them cool on the baking sheet.

Notes

  • The amount of flour indicated may vary. Add the flour in portions to the butter mixture until a very soft dough is formed, which should not be mushy, but also not dry.
  • Knead the dough only briefly, to a reasonably homogeneous consistency. If you knead it too long, butter will melt from the heat of your hands, causing the dough to absorb more and more flour. This could cause the cookies to end up tasting dry and not crumbly.
  • Do not bake the cookies longer than necessary. After baking, they should be a very light color.
  • Note the detailed tips and tricks for making the Heidesand cookies at the top of the post.

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