Dream Dishes: Grace R. Duncan’s Sand Tarts

November 27, 2015


One of my absolute favorite recipes of all time is one of the simplest I’ve ever learned, though it takes a bit to put together. It’s been in my family for generations, handed down mostly verbally. In fact, even in this day and age of technology, my own daughter knows the recipe by heart.

When I was a kid, I made these cookies with my mom every year, without fail. They take some work, despite their simplicity, because they’re rolled out. For someone who might have some physical limitations, it can be quite a challenge.  But they’re definitely fun to make and taste amazing!

My favorite part of the whole thing was decorating the cookies. We brush a little bit of beaten egg onto the top with a pastry brush, then put colored sugar or other sprinkles on top. I used to spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to get the decorations just right. I’d add more than one color, sometimes trying to make the candy cane shaped ones look like a candy cane or the Christmas tree ones green with dots of ornaments on them. I drove my mother completely nuts sometimes, and always ended up with a billion colors all over myself. I remember spending more than one evening after in the bathtub!


The recipe itself is really versatile too. It’s easily doubled or tripled (though not halved because of the odd number of eggs), and depending on how the dough is rolled out, they can either be crispy or soft. I prefer them soft, myself, but I love them no matter how they come out. I hope you have a chance to try them and enjoy them as well!

Thanks for reading!


Sand Tarts

Prep time: 15 minutes  Refrigeration: 2 hours  Baking time: 10 minutes
Makes about four dozen cookies.



1 cup margarine (softened makes it a lot easier to work with)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
4 cups flour

1 egg
colored sugar or sprinkles for decorating



  1. Cream butter and sugar together.

  2. Add eggs and mix well.

  3. Add flour, one cup at a time until dough pulls away from the sides. Pat into loaf and wrap with plastic wrap or place sections in ziploc bags. Refrigerate minimum of 2 hours.

  4. Roll out dough on floured surface. Cut into shapes.

  5. Brush with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with colored sugar or sprinkles.

  6. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden.


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