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German butter cookies recipe

Best German Butter Cookies Recipe: Heidesand

These delicious German butter cookies have a crumbly texture and nutty taste from the browned butter.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 14 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Servings 36 cookies


  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • silicone baking mat


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar for rolling optional


  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring frequently. Continue cooking 4 to 5 minutes until medium brown flecks appear at the bottom of the pan. Watch carefully as the butter can burn quickly.
  • Let the butter cool until it is at room temperature.
  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
  • Sift the dry ingredients (flour and salt) into the butter mixture and mix sifted flour into the butter until a dough forms. The dough will be a little crumbly but hold together when pinched between two fingers.

Cookie Cutting Method 1:

  • Scrape the cookie dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form a log. We like to form a square log, using a bench scraper to get a nice flat surface and sharp corners. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 3 days.
  • When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough log from the fridge and set it on the counter to warm up for a few minutes. Dough straight from the fridge will be too hard to cut evenly.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 1/4 inch slices. If desired, roll the edge of each cookie in turbinado sugar and place the cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.

Cookie Cutting Method 2:

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Divide dough in half. Wrap half in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator while you work with the first half. Use a rolling pin to roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut cookies into different shapes. Place cut cookies on prepared baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Repeat with second dough ball. While the cookies chill, preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Bake cookie in preheated oven 12-14 minutes or until cookies just begin to lightly brown.
  • Remove and cool cookies 2-3 minutes on baking sheet before transfering to cooling rack.


Cookies keep well in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
Keyword browned butter, German, shortbread
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