Cornmeal Sandies (Cookies)

Abingdon Cookie Time Jar

Abingdon Cookie Time Jar

By Cat, Jun 2008 (Photo, right, originally from Wikipedia, but the link has been lost)

Sand cookies are a great Scandinavian cookie treat. Sandies is an Anglicized name for this type of cookie. Scandinavian Sand cookies are made with wheat flour, not cornmeal, so this recipe an adaptation from another culture; however, it promises to be delicious.

Be very careful about the cornmeal you choose to use. Unless it is an Organic product, it is likely GMO. Even Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal is suspect, because it is Organic. I purchase my Organic cornmeal from the local Organic store, in bulk. It is a whole-grain cornmeal and thus is not as yellow as refined cornmeal.

About ingredients for Cornmeal Sandies

Sugar is an essential ingredient for the proper texture of these cookies, so I have not attempted to replace with stevia.  Minimally processed Rapadura sugar (dried sugar cane juice) will work wonderfully in these recipes, and is more healthful. It adds a caramel color to the dough, but for these browned-butter cookies, that should not be an issue.

Flour: It is important to measure the flour after sifting, then sift again. Most modern recipes call for all white flour, but I prefer to use a bit of whole wheat pastry flour to improve the nutritional quality of the cookie. Or, for a lighter color, hard white winter wheat, such as Wheat Montana’s Prairie Gold could be used.  Nutritionally, spelt is a better flour, but I don’t like it for these cookies.

Cornmeal: See above for caution about avoiding GMO cornmeal. Always choose Organic for any corn product.

Butter: Always use unsalted real butter for these cookies, for the best result. Do not use margarine or ‘vegetable spread’ for these cookies, as they will lose their shape in the oven. Also, don’t use vegetable shortening as it contains toxic trans-fats.

Cornmeal Sandies

This recipe is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, July 2008, and makes 3 dozen cookies.  The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup white sugar in the batter; I think this is necessary for the proper texture of the cookie, and isn’t much when you consider that is spread across 36 cookies (about 1/3 tsp sugar per cookie).

The original recipe also calls for white flour and (refined) yellow cornmeal.  I prefer to use whole wheat pastry flour and finely ground whole-grain cornmeal (from Bob’s Red Mill).

Do not use margarine or shortening instead of butter.  Your cookies will not have the right texture, and besides, manufactured fats are not good for your health.


Ingredients & Equipment

  • 3 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup Rapadura sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup Organic whole-grain yellow cornmeal (fine grind)
  • 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • white cane sugar (for coating)
  • Equipment:
  • baking sheets
  • large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer)
  • medium bowl
  • wooden spoon or stand mixer
  • cookie press (or small glass with decorative bottom)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Combine sugar with the zests in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream butter in large bowl until fluffy (or use stand mixer on medium speed for about 30 seconds).  Beat in the sugar and zests, then the vanilla.
  4. In separate bowl, stir flour, cornmeal and salt.  Gradually add to the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition, until dough forms a cohesive ball.
  5. Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls.  Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.  Dip cookie press (or you can use the decorative bottom of a small glass) in sugar and then use to flatten the cookie balls slightly. *
  6. Bake 10 – 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.  Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to rack to cool.

* NOTE:  Alternately, simply flatten balls slightly with your hand; then roll balls in sugar after baking and cooling 2 minutes.


  1. Better Homes and Gardens, July 2008 (

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