Turbinado sugar on edges of shortbread cookies.

Heidesand - German Browned Butter Shortbread Cookies

Heidesand are German browned butter shortbread cookies. These tender slice and bake cookies are made with browned butter and rolled in turbinado sugar.
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Keyword heidesand
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 2 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 86kcal
Author Heather



  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour *
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar for rolling


Browned Butter

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir frequently. Butter will begin to foam and boil. After 4 to 5 minutes you will see brown flecks appear in the bottom of the pan. Continue to stir until butter is golden and flecks are a medium brown color. Watch closely, butter will brown quickly. Process will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove butter from heat and pour into a bowl. Refrigerate for 15-25 minutes, or until butter is cool and solidified. You're looking for a room temperature or slightly cooler, solid butter.


  • In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, sift (or whisk) together flour* and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix until a dough forms.¬†Dough will be crumbly, but will hold together when pinched between two fingers.
  • Toss dough out onto wax or parchment paper and form into two logs, about 1 1/2" wide. Refrigerate for an hour (up to 24 hours).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.¬†
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Using a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4 inch slices. On a sheet of wax paper or parchment, pour a small amount of turbinado sugar. Roll the edges of each cookie in sugar and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies just begin to lightly brown around edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from sheet to cool completely.


*Your dough will look crumbly - this is normal. Test your dough. Try pinching some dough between two fingers - does it hold together? If so, your dough is the correct consistency.
If your dough is sticky, add 1/4 cup more flour. And if your dough is dry and not holding together, add 1 tablespoon of water.
For shortbread, I often suggest leaving out 1/4 cup of flour. Combine the rest and see how your dough looks. If you need to add more, you can.
  • Your cookies will keep for 5-7 days in a sealed container. To help keep cookies fresh, you can place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. Replace the bread slice as needed.
  • You can keep raw cookie dough in the refrigerator for 3 days. Cookie dough and baked cookies freeze well, up to 3 months in a sealed plastic container or freezer bag. Allow frozen dough to thaw for up to 10 minutes on the baking sheet before baking, or add 1-2 minutes to the baking time.


Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg