Jan Hagel Cookies – Buttery bars topped with cinnamon sugar and sliced almonds. These tasty Dutch cookies are perfect for the holidays.
I make dozens of treats to give to neighbors every Christmas, and I always include a few bars or brownies for variety. These cinnamon sugar bars look so pretty on a cookie tray, and everyone loves them!
SUPER EASY CINNAMON SUGAR BARS
These Jan Hagels are one of the first recipes I ever made all by myself. I think I was probably about ten years old. My mom got the recipe from her mom, so it’s been handed down for generations!
These cookies only have a few ingredients, and you can whip them up in just a few minutes. They are a great for kids who are just learning to cook. (But no one will ever guess how easy they are, because they taste amazing!)
The bars are nice and chewy with a rich, buttery flavor. Cinnamon sugar and almonds sprinkled on top give them a nice crunch.
WHAT ARE JAN HAGELS?
Jan Hagel cookies are a traditional Dutch Christmas treat. They are made with a few basic ingredients, and the dough is pressed into a very thin layer on a baking sheet.
Sliced almonds or other nuts are sprinkled on top of the dough. Sometimes they are brushed with an egg white, and they are usually sprinkled with some type of sugar or cinnamon sugar.
HOW TO MAKE JAN HAGEL COOKIES
- brown sugar
- butter (softened to room temperature)
- vanilla extract
- all purpose flour
- cinnamon sugar
- sliced almonds
Cream together brown sugar and butter. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and salt. Cover and chill dough for 20-30 minutes.
The hardest part of this recipe is patting the dough into the pan. I like to get my hands wet, then press the dough down. That works like a charm. If the dough starts sticking, just rinse your hands and start again.
Sprinkle the dough with cinnamon sugar, then spread sliced almonds evenly over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting.
HOW TO CUT JAN HAGEL BAR COOKIES INTO DIAMONDS
To get the pretty diamond shapes, just cut diagonally from corner to corner, then cut straight rows across the pan. If you don’t have a long sharp knife, you can use a pizza cutter. You will have leftover pieces on all of the edges, perfect for hungry children or husbands.
They turn out so pretty with the cinnamon sugar and almonds on top. I love the diamond shapes, but you can of course just cut them into regular square bars. They will still taste just as good!
- Line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper before spraying with non-stick spray. It makes it easier to cut into diamond shapes, because you can lift the bars out of the pan and use a large knife or pizza cutter.
- Make sure you chill the dough for a few minutes so it’s easier to press into the pan.
- Press the dough into the pan with wet hands. It keeps the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Instead of sprinkling regular granulated sugar on top, try coarse baking sugar or pearl sugar.
- Drizzle the tops of the bars with melted chocolate or white chocolate.
- For even more cinnamon flavor, add a half to a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the dough with the flour.
- You can substitute the sliced almonds for pecans, walnuts, or any type of nut you prefer. Or of course you can eliminate them altogether.
These easy Dutch cookies are simply delicious! Give them a try, and they just may become a new holiday tradition at your house. Of course, at my house, we bake and eat them all year long. They’re just too good to only have once a year!
Love cinnamon and sugar? You’ll love these recipes too:
RECIPE FOR JAN HAGEL COOKIE BARS
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Spray a 17x12" jelly roll pan with non stick spray, or line with parchment paper.
- Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt.
- Cover and chill for about 30 minutes. Pat dough into the prepared jelly roll pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then almonds.
- Bake at 350 ° for about 18 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into square or diamond shapes.
--Make sure you chill the dough, or you will make a sticky mess trying to spread it in the pan.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 52mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g
(originally published 12/13/2008, updated November 2019)