I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons that I enjoy this time of year is because of all the good things to eat! Christmas cookies are my favorite.  They are not only delicious but a true tradition in our family.  I remember my grandma rolling out the dough to make the thinnest sandtarts and most delicious, of course, and then cutting them with a favorite cookie cutter. Mine are usually cut into shapes of a diamond, heart, angel, and stars. There has always been a competition between sandtart makers to make the thinnest and crispiest sandtart, the thinner the better. If you can see through the dough, it is usually thin enough.  It is not always easy dough to work with, but it is well worth the effort.   
Some top their cookies with chopped peanuts, but like my Grandma, I prefer chopped pecans on mine.  I have made the sandtarts by myself, but much prefer when it is a family event, someone rolling and someone helping to cut the cookies out, someone putting egg-white wash on the cookies and topping them off with cinnamon and the pecans.  And of course there are plenty of takers when the cookies are ready to eat!  This is my Grandma Eby’s recipe from my Aunt Edna Eby Heller’s cookbook “The Art of Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking.”

Sandtarts  (makes 14 dozen)
2 cups sugar

½ pound butter

2 eggs, beaten

4 cups sifted flour

2 slightly beaten egg whites

cinnamon or cinnamon sugar

1 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, pecans, or almonds)

Cream together the sugar and the butter.  Stir in the beaten eggs.  Add the flour and mix thoroughly.  Chill overnight.  Roll out on a floured board or counter to 1/8 inch thickness or as thin as possible.  Cut into rounds, squares or rectangles and lift onto cookie sheets.  Before baking, brush egg whites over the top, sprinkle with cinnamon, then top with nuts.  Bake from 8 to 10 minutes in a 350 oven.

Submitted by:  Ann Royer, Innkeeper   Amanda Gish House Bed & Breakfast  Elizabethtown, PA