Heidesand Cookies


Recipes with a story behind are the best in my opinion. This definitely holds true for these Heidesand cookies. For that reason I feel especially honored to introduce them here. The recipe was passed down from the lovely lady Mrs. P. Mrs. P was busy baking these cookies for her granddaugther when the handyman who was working at her place asked why it was smelling so nice in her kitchen. Mrs. P. replied that she was preparing Heidesand cookies as these were the favorite of her granddaugther and immediately handed a cookie to the handyman. He was so excited about the cookies after he tried them that he continued praising them as soon as he returned home. The girlfriend of the handyman listened to his story and immediately requested that he ask for the recipe the next day when he was about to return to Mrs. P’s house. He glady returned the favor and asked Mrs. P. for the recipe. She got very excited, immediately sat down and wrote down the recipe for him, which he then faithfully passed on to his girldfriend. And this is the point where the story takes a tragic turn. Because Mrs. P. passed away shortly after. But had passed on the recipe to the girlfriend, who has baked this recipe many times and now passed on the recipe to me. I will definitely hold it very dear in my recipe collection.


So as stated, I got this recipe from the girlfriend of the handyman. If you are excited about a baking recipe and would like me to try it, feel free to email me at info at jennyisbaking dot com. You can also contact me on Facebook. I love to exchange recipe ideas and can talk about cookies and cakes with my readers forever 😉 But let’s get back to these cookies. Heidesand-PlätzchenHeidesand cookies are called “sand from the Heide” as they actually look like sand. If you ever should have the chance to go to the Lüneburger Heide, you will know right away why they are called like this area in the north of Germany, the ground is very sandy and the purple-colored Heide loves sandy grounds. I tried to capture some of this beautiful countryside in the pictures below when the Heide was blossoming. However, this does NOT mean that the cookies actually taste like sand, no, this is a shortbread-type of cookie with a melt-in-your-mouth butteriness, which is hard to match.

Lüneburger HeideWhen I did some research, I learned that real Heidesand cookies are actually always prepared with brown butter. I really love the taste. The recipe from Mrs. P doesn’t take the regular approach. She waits for the butter to harden again and takes more time adding the flour, but I have to say that after trying recipes, hers always come out best. Even though Heidesand cookies are traditionally served for Christmas, I am sure that you will already love them in fall. These cookies will melt in your mouth. Think of Mrs. P. when you try them, I at least will.

Credit: As written down by Mrs. P.

Heidesand Cookies

By Mrs. P. Serves: Between 50-60 cookies, depending on size
Prep Time: 30min + chilling Cooking Time: 15min Total Time: 2 hr 30min

These buttery shortbread cookies are prepared with brown butter and sliced after chilling. Best melt-in-your-mouth cookie ever.


  • 250 grams of butter
  • 230 grams of regular sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 340 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder



Melt the butter on the stovetop. Once melted, reduce heat and let simmer for about 5-10min. Butter will slowly turn color, once you see brown specks and it smells nutty, it's done. May need a little longer. Place in fridge for 45min or longer immediately to become solid again.


Beat cooled off butter with mixer for about two minutes, then slowly add sugar. Add scraped out vanilla pod and milk and beat until the mixture turns pale.


Mix the flour with the baking powder and slowly add to the butter mixture. Knead in last part by hand. If the dough is too crumbly, place in fridge for half an hour.


Now divide the dough in three parts and roll each part into a roll with about 3cm in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour or overnight.


Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.


Slice rolls, each cookie should be a slice about 1/2 cm. Place cookies on baking sheet, they will rise a little. Bake for about 14-15min, don't brown, they will stay pale.


Heidesand cookies taste best fresh. However, if kept in an airtight container, they will keep for a few days.

Heidesand-PlätzchenP.S.: If you would like to have this Heidesand cookie with additional lemon and rosemary flavor, check out my buttery lemon and rosemary Heidesand! Another very similar cookie is the classic Frisian cookie from the north of Germany.


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  • Reply
    Thursday December 13th, 2018 at 01:47 PM

    Hi Jenny,
    vielen Dank für das leckere Rezept! Sehr lecker!
    Liebe Grüße aus Landshut!

    • Reply
      Thursday December 13th, 2018 at 02:26 PM

      Sehr gerne, Anja! Gib gerne Bescheid wenn du es probierst!

  • Reply
    Wednesday December 18th, 2019 at 09:28 AM

    How long is the butter supposed to go in the fridge after you’ve melted it?

    • Reply
      Wednesday December 18th, 2019 at 09:55 AM

      Until it is solid again, depends a little, probably 30min.

  • Reply
    Sunday November 29th, 2020 at 01:53 PM

    Liebe dieses Rezept von dir ;)Kommen immer super an diese feinen Kekse ?

    • Reply
      Sunday November 29th, 2020 at 01:55 PM

      Das freut mich sehr! Wenn du magst, kannst du noch eine Sternebewertung abgeben.

  • Reply
    Friday February 12th, 2021 at 09:43 AM

    Ich habe diese Kekse schon öfters nachgebacken – immer wieder richtig toll. So gut wie simpel!
    Das Bräunen der Butter hat bei mir länger gedauert. Eher so 15-20 Minuten. Sie blubbert erst total und wird dann irgendwann dunkelgelb. Es ist ein bisschen verwirrend beim ersten Mal, aber wenn man den Dreh raus hat, weiß man, wie lange die Butter braucht.

    • Reply
      Friday February 12th, 2021 at 11:13 AM

      Danke für deine Rückmeldung. Spannend, dass es mit der Butter so lange dauert bei dir. Genau, sie blubbert erst und dann fängt sie an zu riechen und diese braunen Krümel entstehen. Ich werde das mal im Rezept abändern und hoffentlich klarer formulieren.

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