Sand Tarts: A Sugar Cookie recipe that actually TASTES good — great for Christmas or any time!

You will think I’m exaggerating, but these buttery, crispy, melt-in-your-mouth treats are seriously the best sugar cookies EVER.
When we were in college, years before we got married, David had talked about the Sand Tarts his grandma made. Apparently they were a long-standing family Christmas tradition, but I’d never heard of them. When David described them, they just sounded like a sugar cookie — which are seriously yawn-inspiring to me. I’d never cared for sugar cookies. At all. I’d always found them too floury and bland, especially when there were other cookie/dessert choices around.
After we got married, and spent Christmas at David’s parents’ house, he pointed out the container of Sand Tarts to me. They didn’t look like anything special, honestly. Then I tried one. And another. And another. I may have spoiled my Christmas dinner with a few (LOT) too many sand tarts. Of course, I asked for the recipe.
The key to these cookies is to make them VERY thin, so they’ll be crispy, and they’ll kind of melt in your mouth when you bite into them. I need to make some soon! Absolutely love them. If you prefer to use a rolling pin & use cookie cutters,  you’ll have to make them a little thicker so they don’t break apart when you move them to the baking sheet. They won’t be quite as crispy as the thinner version, but they’ll still be melt-in-your-mouth buttery. Adjust baking time as needed.

Grandma Laughman’s Sand Tarts

From David’s grandmother. These are thin and crispy and oh-so-buttery. They melt in your mouth and demand for more to follow. Dare you to eat just ONE.
1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3-1/2 cups flour (or up to 4 cups if it’s been sifted or fluffed up a bit**)
egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with a teaspoon of water
colored sugar to sprinkle on top (or just plain white sugar if desired)
(**the original recipe calls for 1 pound each of sugar and flour — but you may not have a scale)
Cream butter & sugar well.
Add eggs, mix well.
Add 3 cups flour and mix it in. Mix in as much of the rest as you need in order to make a dough that isn’t sticky, but not crumbly either — just enough so you can roll gather it into ball. You may find it easiest to use your hands to work in the last bit of flour.
Roll dough into a tube shape, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap well in saran wrap to keep it from drying out. Chill in fridge at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375F.
The way I’ve always done them, is to roll all the dough in one long tube shape, wrap in saran wrap and chill at least several hours. Then slice it VERY thin and place on baking sheets. Brush each with a tiny bit of beaten egg, then sprinkle with sugar – I usually use red or green.
Bake in a PREHEATED oven at 375F, for 7 or 8 minutes. Watch the first couple batches to see how long  you’ll need to do in your own oven — might be done in 5 minutes. You want them just starting to turn golden, but not brown. Let them cool about 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a rack to cool completely. If you’ve baked them right, they will be crispy-crunchy when cooled.
Once cooled, store in a container that seals airtight, by themselves. If you store them with other, moister cookies, they will LOSE their signature crunch (though they’ll still taste good)
The dough can be kept for a few days, since there is no leavening that will “wear out”. I’ve even frozen it for a couple months. Take out the roll of dough and let it sit a couple minutes at room temp — just enough so you can slice off dough for a sheet pan of cookies, then re-wrap and pop the remaining dough back in the freezer immediately.
Advertisements

About Bobbie Laughman

May vanish if startled. Professional Advice Dispenser. Amateur Human Being. Scam Detector. Christian. Grandma. Writer-ish. Artistic leanings. Anti-social. Old School Trekkie. Contains Nuts.
This entry was posted in Family, Food, memories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s