Heidesand is a kind of German shortbread, made with browned butter and that is what gives it its unique and wonderful taste!
Usually, I prefer cookies with royal icing or with chocolate or anything else interesting. Bare cookies are not so much my thing with this exception: Heidesand cookies! They have a distinguished taste that beats every other cookie. The browned butter in this recipe adds so much interest and flavor, I believe it is very special and just tastes as Fall feels.
I believe these cookies are mostly a recipe from the north of Germany. Especially in an area called “Friesland” we enjoy a good cup of tea with these cookies in the afternoon. Some rock candy in the tea and a bit of rum (to fight the cold weather, of cause) and everyone is happy.
Friesland is the area at the coast in the north-west of Germany where the harsh weather of the Northern Sea brings a lot of winds and rain or even storms. I love that area for its wild landscape and the people who barely speak a word but are fun once they open their mouth to say something. I believe there is some British influence to that. They also speak in a different dialect which has a lot in common with English and Dutch.
How to bake it
In the video, I show you every step of the way and I want to make sure you are sticking to the thickness of the cookies. They really should be that thick, like a little over 1/4 inch or 1 cm. If you make them too thin, they will not taste as supposed.
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- 250 g Butter
- 200 g Sugar
- 2-3 tsp. Vanilla Sugar or some vanilla extract
- 1 pinch Salt
- 2-3 Tbsp. Milk
- 375 g Flour (all purpose)
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and let it cook on medium temperature until it browned. Don't mind some black dot's in it.
- Remove the butter from the heat and let it cool: First at room temperature, then in the fridge until it is solid/creamy again.
- Put the cooled butter into a bowl and mix it until it is creamy and fluffy. Takes about ½ minute.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder.
- Slowly add the sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, milk and flour while mixing
- Mix it well but not too long.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and continue kneading with your hands.
- Shape two long strings from the dough, each with a diameter of about 2 inches or 5 cm.
- Let these strings rest in the refrigerator until they have hardened (30+ minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Now line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet.
- Cut the dough strings into slices or ¼ inch or 1 cm and place each slice onto the baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes – more or less time needed, depending on the size and thickness of your cookies.
- Remove the cookies from the oven when they are almost but not yet completely done.
- Let the cookies cook a little on the baking sheet before you remove them.
- Eat them right away or store them airtight.