Norwegian sandbakkels are a traditional Christmas cookie that are made in sandbakkel tins, are lightly seasoned, and have a slightly crumbly texture.
Sandbakkelse take me right back to my grandma’s kitchen, circa 1988.
My grandma used to make the same Christmas treats every year: White sour cream fudge, chocolate fudge, krumkake, and sandbakkelse. Each were tucked into a decorative tin. Each recipe was perfected over the years. And each was made with love.
Do traditional Norwegian recipes take you back to your happy place? If they do, then we have something special in common!
Today, I’m sharing a very special recipe for traditional almond-flavored Norwegian sugar cookie called sandbakkelse (also spelled sandbakkels) (translation: sand tarts) or sandkaker (translation: sand cakes).
What Are Sandbakkelse?
I bought a vintage box of sandbakkelse tins from Gladd Co at a garage sale in St. Paul last summer.
The original recipe and pamphlet were included in the box, and this is how it described sandbakkelse:
“Sandbakkelse are sugar cookies that are baked in tins of various sizes and shapes. These cookies are traditionally served as a shell tipped upside down on your prettiest blue plate. Mouth watering when they are filled, too, with fresh fruit, whipped cream mixed with crushed peppermint candy and so on.“
Recipe Tips: Sandbakkels
The trick to making great sandbakkelse is to make sure the dough is pressed down thinly and evenly into the individual tins. This will ensure even baking and thickness.
Although we have always eaten them plain/unfilled, you can certainly add filling like whipped cream and fruit.
How do you fill sandbakkelse (sand tarts)? I’d love to hear your family’s preferred method. Please comment below!
Where To Find Sandbakkelse Tins
If you’re here for the Norwegian recipes, I’m going to guess that you already have a set of sandbakkels tins. Or maybe your mom, aunt or grandmother does.
If you’re lucky (and from the Upper Midwest) you can maybe find a set of sandbakkelse tins at a thrift shop, antique shop or garage sale (that’s where I found mine).
If you don’t have your own set, you can buy them on Amazon. Here are 2 options:
More Norwegian Recipes
Do you love exploring your Scandinavian roots through traditional recipes? Me too! Here are some other recipes to try:
- Sweet soup (sot suppe)
- Potato dumplings (klub)
- My Norwegian Grandma’s meatball recipe
- Swedish meatballs
- Flatbread (flatbrod)
- Open-faced sandwiches
- Lefse (no special equipment needed!)
- Norwegian Christmas bread (julebrød)
- Norwegian cream pudding (rommegrot)
- Norwegian rice pudding (risgrot)
- Almond kringler
- Norwegian almond cake
- Norwegian cranberry almond cake
- Goro cookies
- Kringla cookies
- Norwegian pepperkaker cookies
- A Scandinavian snack board
- – Wash it all down with a pot of Norwegian egg coffee or non-alcoholic gløgg
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 small egg, unbeaten
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Cream butter. Add sugar and beat well. Add egg and almond extract. Stir in flour.
- Place dough, covered, in the refrigerator at least 3 hours - or overnight.
- Take dough out of refrigerator and get ready to assemble cookies. The dough may be easier to handle after it has sat at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Turn on oven to 375F. Take a small ball of dough and press it into a sandbakkel tin. The dough should be about 1/16th of an inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Place filled tins on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove from oven, tip upside down, and allow to cool slightly until comfortable to touch. Gently pinch the sides of the tin to remove the cookie.