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Jan Hagel Cookies

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Jan Hagel Cookies

Jan Hagel Cookies

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
Jan Hagel cookies are traditionally eaten at Christmas time in Holland. They can be cut into squares, rectangles or diamond shapes, but I actually really like cutting them into fingers to serve with ice cream, mousse or sabayon, or in fact, with a good old cuppa coffee.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (200 g)
  • 1 cup white sugar (190 g)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold (230 g)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ---------
  • Almond slivers
  • Crystallized sugar ('kandij') or caramelized sugar shards (see Tips below)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Cut the butter into small cubes and add. Rub the flour mix and the butter together between your thumb and forefingers, until it resembles wet sand.

Press dough onto a greased cookie sheet, roughly forming a rectangle. Brush surface with the beaten egg and decorate with almond slivers and sugar crystals or caramel shards. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned.

Using a sharp knife, immediately cut into the desired shapes (squares, rectangles, fingers or diamonds). Leave to cool and crispen.


You can use 'kandij' (sugar crystals) to decorate your Jan Hagel cookies, but as I've found when I've been abroad at Christmas time, crystallized sugar isn't available everywhere. Instead, I've come up with an easy alternative: simply melt 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan over a high heat (do not stir). The second the sugar liquefies completely, decant the liquid sugar onto waiting parchment paper (that you've spread out on the kitchen counter). Try to pour it thinly. The sugar will set into a crisp disk. Once cooled, simply chop into shards (a mezzaluna knife works well here). The larger shards will remain crispy as the cookies bake, while the smaller ones will melt into the cookies -- delicious either way. As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Jan Hagel, Member SICForever

This is actually the exact same recipe that my oma has made for many years. Of all the Dutch christmas treats I would have to say that Jan Hagel is my favourite. I do slightly modify it, I don't use the kandij on top just almond slivers and I like to add almond extract because well is there really such a thing as to much almond?

34 out of 35 people found this helpful.

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