The Netherlands: Jan Hagels

Jan Hagel (yan HAH-ghle) cookies are a traditional Dutch holiday sweet. They are very thin, light and flaky. They are also known as Hollanders, Janhagels, Janhagel Cookies, Dutch Almond Cookies or Sugar Hail Cookies.

Jan Hagel - Johnny Hail - is Dutch for ‘an unruly mob’ or ‘rabble,’ with hagel in the sense of ‘multitude’ or ‘swarm.’ In the cookie, the rock sugar resembles hail.

Jan Hagels

10-1/2 oz Flour
6 oz. butter
5 oz. sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz. rock sugar (or sanding sugar)
2 egg whites
Chopped nuts (optional)

Mix the softened butter with the sugar, cinnamon, salt and the white of one egg until the mixture is creamy. Sift the flour on a board or countertop and put the butter mixture in small dabs all over the flour. Knead it into a smooth ball. Let the dough cool in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Put the rock sugar (kandij) in a tea towel and pound it until it is about the size of rice grains.
Grease a cookie sheet and put the dough on it, rolling it out into a thin layer. Brush it with the remaining egg white and sprinkle it with the rock sugar. You can also sprinkle chopped nuts if desired. Cut - but do not separate - the dough in strips of approx. 1-1/2 inches wide and 3-1/2 inches long.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let the baked cookie cool off and then break at pre-cuts for individual cookies.

Yield: Approximately 50 cookies

Recipe courtesy of


Anonymous said...

This recipe in no way resembles the Jan Hagels my dutch grandmother baked for me as a child in NJ, nor anything like unto the similarly named cookies available at our local dutch bakery in Paterson NJ.

Some more research is needed for this article.

Anonymous said...

I am Dutch and these cookies resemble the real thing actually quite spot on so no more research is needed in my opinion.