Every year around the holidays my Father would start his yearly request for sand tarts. Not any sand tart but his grandmothers recipe for sand tarts and they had to be as thin as Great Grandmothers also. My mother and I would make the cookies and Dad would check in as Quality Control Director to assure the proper taste and thickness of the cookie. Mom would be very insulted if Dad didn’t like the thickness of the cookie. “They’re still not as thin as my grandmas” Dad would say. Followed by Mom telling him he was “more than welcome to roll the cookies to his liking and if he didn’t want to do that she suggested that he vacate the kitchen” – Dad got fired from his Quality Control position every year but he was always there the following year. After all, we needed a taste tester!!! Sand tart cookies are similar in taste to a sugar cookie but rolled very thin and decorated, then baked. The recipe only calls for 4 ingredients, but every family recipe has its own tweak, trick or special method to get that thin cookie that is slightly brown and crisp around the edges, yet soft and chewy in the middle. As for our family tweak,-- the main thing is getting the dough rolled thin - which requires that the dough have a stay in the fridge overnight. Grandma always added a teaspoon of Almond Extract and Dad would not like the fact that I have deleted it from my recipe, but I think the cookie has a great taste without it. I have included it in this recipe as an optional ingredient. You can add it if you wish.
Nana's Sand Tarts (makes about 7 dozen)
1/2 lb butter (Two Sticks) Soft Butter (Room temperature — not melted)
3 cups Sugar
4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Almond Extract (optional)
1 Egg White - Beaten For Decorating (this is to brush the top of the cookies with to help the sugar to stick)
Cream the Sugar and the Butter together. (This is also where you would add the almond Extract if you are using it)
Add the eggs and Flour and mix together.
Wrap the dough in Saran Wrap and Chill in the fridge overnight. ( This will help when you go to roll it out).
Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and Separate into balls the size of a soft ball. I usually get about 4 balls of dough. Place one doughball onto a well -floured surface and place the remaining dough in the fridge to stay chilled. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough pieces out one at a time. You want to roll the dough very thin.
Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut the cookies out and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush the tops of the cookies with egg white wash and decorate with your favorite colored sugar or cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Bake at 350* until light brown around the edges. About 6-8 minutes.
Repeat the process with the other dough balls.
This cookie needs to be watched!!!! The butter in the cookie will allow it to burn easily and they are so thin that they bake quickly. Assign your favorite Elf the cookie watching job!!!!