Cookies, Dessert

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies

Loreto December 10, 2019

Jump To Recipe

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies. Sandbakkelse, sand tarts, are traditional almond and vanilla-flavored Norwegian sugar cookies that are baked in specific fluted tins and are served as a shell tipped upside down. The purists serve them plain like a cookie, but they can be filled with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or lemon curd.

Song of the day:  “Everyday Is A Winding Road” – Sheryl Crow

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies. Sandbakkelse, crisp buttery tart-like cookies that are cute and so addictive. Once you have one, it will be followed by another and another. This month we are traveling by our choice to Norway for a delicious Christmas treat. Come Eat the World!



Dessert by Choice:

I feel like a little kid so excited to hear where we are traveling to next with this wonderful group of food bloggers. This month was extra special because we got to choose where we wanted to travel to on the foodie train. 

After being at a Scandinavian Christmas market we came home with these molds to make Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies. Pretty cute, eh! They came with a recipe on the back, however, Nicoletta did some pretty extensive research and adapted the recipe asking also our Norwegian friends for some advice. I am writing purely from the observer’s perspective, smiley face, lol.

We really like Scandinavian recipes! Check out some of our favorites, here, like Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie) and Smorgastarta, Swedish Sandwich Cake. 

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies-Norwegian tins

Research is hard work………………..

Nicoletta and I have different approaches to doing recipes. Nicoletta searches site after site to gather all ideas, quantities, process, and then plunges into the pool of ideas and starts making the recipe. I look up a few recipes then just go for it using intuition and feeling to do a recipe. The best part is both ways work.

For these  Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies, I was the emotional and positive support cheering Nicoletta on and giving lots of praise and confidence because, in reality, I have not disliked anything that Nicoletta bakes. Actually, I love everything she does, very talented she is, much to the dismay to the voice that is quite critical! 

Let’s get started and watch and listen to what Nicoletta has to say about making these Norwegian cute cookies!

The ingredients, pure and simple………………………………

  • Butter
  • sugar
  • egg
  • flour
  • salt
  • vanilla and almond extract

The process…………………………

  1. Cream butter in a stand mixer.
  2. Blend in sugar.
  3. Add egg and extracts.
  4. Sift flour and add gradually with the salt.
  5. Take out of the bowl and bring the dough together.
  6. Flatten and wrap in plastic. Let rest.

The Art of making these Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies

Making these Sandbakkelse is a hands-on experience. I was at work when Nicoletta was doing this, however, I was on the phone with her quite a few times. Nicoletta told me that you put some of the dough into the center of the cookie mold then using your thumb pressing the dough working it up to the upper rim of the mold. It should be fairly thin and consistent on the sides and bottom, and it is quite a job, would be better if done with family to share the task. Anyway, by the second batch, she had gotten the rhythm going!

Golden is key……………

In the oven they go nice and light in color and out they come golden on the edges. I was not here for the baking but using my abundance of imagination I could smell that wonderful buttery nutty aroma and I was in daydream mode! 

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies-on the rack   

I wish I was there……………

If I was in the kitchen with Nicoletta  I would have definitely “hey, what’s that on the ceiling“. Then there was one less, lol. I am quite silly……..

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies-pile of cookies   

Nicoletta is an artist at heart………………..

Photographs are of utmost importance to Nicoletta. She is in full Roman form and has a wonderful column happening here! As a result, a beautiful stack of Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies resting on the Norwegian plates we bought at the same Scandinavian market. A nostalgic match for the cookies.

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies

To fill or not to fill, that is the question………………………

These Sanbakkelse really look like little tarts, however, they are considered like cookies. When we asked our friend Lana who is Norwegian how she would serve them she said upside down and plain, saying her Mom is a purist and we can totally understand that, being Italian and everything, lol. We did ask the lady where we bought the molds and she said they fill them sometimes with lemon curd and whipping cream.

The only way to really know what way is best is to taste, of course. Tough job, but someone has to do it, lol.

Taste test…………………………………………………

Nicoletta whipped up some lemon curd just like that and we tried the Sanbakkelse filled with lemon curd. Yum! The crispy buttery delicateness of the cookie paired so well with the curd. 

Then we put some raspberry jam and tasted that, yum again, a wonderful match.

Now for the purist at heart, plain. We have a winner, triple yum. Delicate, yet crispy. Buttery, yet nutty, as a result, many cookie popping maneuvers!

Awaiting the judges’ verdict…………….

We had our friends Lana and David over for dinner and then told them they were going to be the judges for Nicoletta’s Sandbakkelse. We watched and everything went silent as the cookie hit their lips. David was quick to say they were spot on. But the real verdict we needed from Lana who is no stranger to these Sandbakkelse. Yes, she said, they were really good and so close to her mom’s. She did say they were more delicate but liked them very much.

There you have it, Nicoletta. Well done!

Christmas is upon us and there is a whole lotta baking going on. Bring a little Norwegian to your kitchen and whip up these delicious and fantastic Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies. 


Song of the day:  “Everyday Is A Winding Road” – Sheryl Crow

Check out all the wonderful Christmas/holiday dishes and sweets prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Glædelig Jul, Nisser, and Mormor Agnes’ Æbleskiver
Literature and Limes: Makowiec
Palatable Pastime: Danish Asier Pickles
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Lebkuchenherzen (German Cookies)
Chip by the Dozen: Pepperkaker (Norwegian Christmas Cookies)
Evelyne: Oliebollen, the Dutch Doughnut
Loreto and Nicoletta (us!): Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies
Simply Inspired Meals: Classic Christmas Spritz Cookies
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Bohemian Potato Salad
Making Miracles: Scottish Steak Pie
Margaret at Kitchen Frau: Basler Leckerli, Swiss Christmas cookies

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies

Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies

  • Author: Nicoletta and Loreto
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13
  • Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Norwegian


Sandbakkelse, Norwegian Christmas Cookies, are traditional almond and vanilla-flavored Norwegian sugar cookies that are baked in specific fluted tins and are served upside down, plain, like a cookie.


  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (130 g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/4 cup (195 g) flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until soft.
  2. Add sugar and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until well mixed.
  4. Sift flour and add gradually together with a pinch of salt. Mix until incorporated and the dough comes together.
  5. Gather the dough together, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180°C).
  7. Using ungreased sandbakkelse tins, place 13 g of dough into the center of each tin and use your thumb to flatten the dough into the tin.
  8. Rotating the tin as you go, press the dough evenly working from the center of the tin up the sides. It should be fairly thin and consistent on the sides and bottom. Scrape off the excess dough from the top of the tin on a cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 12-13 minutes, or until slightly golden. Bake 1 cookie sheet at a time.
  9. Remove from the oven and place the tins on a rack to cool. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then carefully invert the tins onto a work surface and give a little tap to release the cookies from the tins. Be gentle, they are very delicate.


The prep time includes the resting of the dough in the fridge for 1 hour.

They keep well in an airtight container for days and freeze well also.

Traditionally the cookies are eating on their own, but can also be filled with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or lemon curd.

Sandbakkel tins are available in Scandinavian supply stores and you should be able to find them easily online.

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

You Might Also Like


  • Avatar
    Reply Wendy Klik December 10, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    Gorgeous cookies and wonderful article. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourselves with us.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 17, 2019 at 11:48 am

      Thank you! These cookies were so fun to make and to eat.

  • Avatar
    Reply Margaret @ Kitchen Frau December 11, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Those cookies look wonderful – so crisp and delicate! I can imagine how buttery they must be. What fun to find a new way to make cookies with those sweet little molds. I loved hearing all about your process and seeing the finished delicious product! Merry Christmas!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 17, 2019 at 11:49 am

      Thank you, Margaret, they are so buttery, crumbly, and sweet. Perfect for the festive season.

  • Avatar
    Reply Elizabeth U. December 11, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    These are so pretty!

  • Avatar
    Reply Evelyne December 21, 2019 at 11:50 am

    What cute molds! And the way you fill the mold is the same for Portuguese nata. Your cookies look so beautiful, I would have to tastes every version too lol. I am the same as Nicoletta when researching a recipe.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.