Vermont Journal

from the B&B and around Vermont

Sandbakkels: Irresistible Norwegian Sugar Cookies!

Stirring it up:

Sandbakkels are a Norwegian sugar cookie treat which is enjoyed throughout the Scandinavian countries, especially at Christmas. But seriously, who wouldn’t want a sugar cookie at any time of the year!

Sandbakkel molds are quite small, measuring just a few inches across.
Sandbakkel molds are quite small, measuring just a few inches across.

Makes 35-40
Oven 350°F   175°C
Bake 12-15 minutes


  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar (white, brown or 1/2 cup of each)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp almond or brandy flavoring


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)
  • Cream the butter and sugar by hand or in a mixer.
  • Add the egg and mix until well blended.
  • Mix in the flour. If using a mixer start on a slow speed otherwise your kitchen will look like Vermont in a snow storm!
  • Almond flavoring gets mixed in next.
  • Form the dough into balls about the size of a walnut. If the dough is too soft it needs to be refrigerated for a couple of hours.
  • No need to grease the tins if you have seasoned them previously*. There is enough butter in the dough so they shouldn’t stick.
  • Press each ball into a Sandbakkel tin until the dough is thin and evenly distributed. If it is too thin at the top of the mold it may get quite brown during baking.
  • Place tins on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
  • Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove the tins from the cookie sheet and place on a rack to cool.
Sandbakkels fresh from the baking tin.
Sandbakkels fresh from the baking tin.

When cool, turn the tin over and tap the bottom gently and the Sandbakkel will pop out.
Turn them over and dust them with confectioner’s sugar or fill them with fruit, custard or perhaps Nutella for an extra special Sandbakkel sugar cookie treat. Here is another photo of Sandbakkels along with some Rosettes.

*How do I season new Sandbakkel tins?

Thanks to Gail who called me to ask this question and caused me do some research. My tins are well used so I hadn’t thought about first time use. So here’s the recommended method of seasoning Sandbakkel tins. Lightly wipe the inside of the tin with shortening. Be sure to get into each of the crevices. Place the tins on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and place them into a 350°F  (175°C) oven for 30 minutes. Let the tins cool completely then wipe out any excess oil.

Dishing it out:

While reading How to Hygge- The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen, I started wondering about other nordic recipes. As one does, I went to the internet and discovered recipes for Swedish Visiting Cake and Sandbakkel Cookies.

For many years I have had a number of tiny little pans. I mean tiny. Not much larger than a soup spoon. I was perplexed as I had no idea what they were for. I only kept them because they were so tiny and so cute! With the discovery that the tiny tins were for baking Sandbakkel Cookies, I went to the kitchen and started my Sandbakkel baking. I had to find out what these tiny treasures tasted like. And yes, they are ‘moreish’.

Sandbakkel Recipe is a Family Treasure

A dear friend of ours has strong Norwegian roots. When I showed him the photo of my Sandbakkels he exclaimed, “I remember having Sandbakkels as a kid growing up in Minnesota. They were a big favorite in my family.”

Every family has special recipes. Recipes that travel with families around the country or across the oceans. Some are written on scraps of paper tucked in a drawer, some neatly written in a notebook, and some passed from memory, one generation to the next.

Relaxing with coffee or tea and a cookie is just what is needed to unwind after a day of exploring the Mad River Valley. Often before guest go out they will ask what kind of cookies are on the menu today. Who knows, maybe it will be Sandbakkel Cookies when you visit. It seems that every time I look at the cookie basket in our dining room there is one lonely cookie. It seems no one wants to take the last one! Go ahead, take the last one. I have more cookies tucked away waiting to fill that empty plate.

Here’s your chance to enjoy Sandbakkel treats in your home. Maybe this will become one of your special recipes. Go ahead, get baking!



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