PA Dutch Christmas Cookies: Sand Tarts

Every Christmas, contributor Lisa Yoder and her family have a tradition of making PA Dutch cookies together. Some of her favorites are these simple, delicious Sand Tarts (also knows as Saint Hearts), which are best paired with eggnog on Christmas Eve night, and again with tea on Christmas afternoon.

Sand Tarts (or Saint Hearts)

4 to 5 dozen cookies
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
15 min 10 min 25 min


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of whole milk
  • Cinnamon sugar mix
  • Chopped walnuts (may sub in pecans or almonds)


  1. Start by creaming together the sugar and butter. Then, add eggs and vanilla or lemon extract and beat until fluffy.
  2. Sift flour, and measure and add the salt and baking powder to the sifted flour. Add the combined dry ingredients to the sugar, butter and eggs, and stir until a medium-soft dough is formed. Chill for several hours in refrigerator.
  3. Roll very thin and cut into fancy shapes. Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and chopped walnuts or pecans. Place 1″ apart on greased cookie sheets, and bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Cool on a cooling rack, then enjoy!

Adapted from the Mennonite Community Cookbook.

  • Photos: Lisa Yoder

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