Jan Hagels | Cinnamon Almond Wafers | Dutch Almond Cookies


You know the type…the type of recipes that don’t quite wow you, but are worthy to take note of because it has the beginnings of something much better. This is one of those recipes. It’s like a flaky sugar cookie spread on a cookie sheet and topped with cinnamon sugar and sliced almonds. If you do not have a sweet tooth and/or need something to go with your light tea, then this could be one of the better contenders for you sugar-limited bite.

Fresh out of the oven and with just a glass of warm water (can I remind you that I bake after midnight and that I drink water before bed?), it was good! The next morning, the taste was almost like a buttery version of graham crackers, plus the cinnamon and nuts. I like it. Some didn’t care for it. It’s not something they would ask from me again, and definitely not something they would look forward to receiving. My  nephews, on the other hand, enjoyed noshing on them. I know these mostly sound too unfavorable for these cookies, but I do believe that given a few changes, this could be everybody’s new favorite cookie before they even realize it was the one they looked down upon.

So why am I even mentioning this to you if this is not “the best” yet? Two reasons:

(1) You might actually like it as is! Jan Hagels is a traditional Dutch cookie that is close to the hearts of a lot of people. I’ve looked online and it seems that these little cookies have been part of a lot of families’ holiday traditions. Like I said earlier, if you are not too much into the sweet stuff, this could be all the sugar quota for dessert or snack you will need. And…

(2) Perhaps you would like to try it and find inspiration into transforming it into another recipe. I, for one, think that a variation of this could make for a great crust under fruit or nut bars. I’m even thinking of making it into a sandwich cookie. The dough itself could hold a host of different flavors, and sturdy enough to hold crushed nuts (yum). I’m all for experimenting with food and within the next few weeks I will have a date again with this recipe, hoping for a spark of yumminess.

I almost forgot to tell you that what lured me into baking these at 2:00 am was how easy it was to make. The ingredients are easy to find, if they’re not already in your pantry, and you could possibly even make it with kids. This cute Ikea baking set comes to mind just for the occasion.

At the end of the day or week, when the cinnamon lover in you is looking for a quick and easy bite, give this recipe a try. Wrap them up in parchment with a box of tea for a dear friend. Pack them up to share at work. Or on a day like today, when you’ve had enough of Valentine sweets, these Dutch Almond cookies would be a welcome break from all that!



These are traditional holiday Dutch (bar) cookies or wafers that are subtly –flavored with cinnamon and almonds. They’re buttery, flaky and crisps, and are ideal to eat with tea or lightly sweetened drinks.

This recipe was adapted from the book, ”The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010)

Yields: 50 cookies


  • 1 ¾ sticks (or ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened; plus extra for greasing cookie sheet
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (the original recipe called for lemon)
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 2 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven in 350°F with the oven rack in the middle. Line a 13”x18” cookie sheet with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter, brown sugar, zest and 1 tablespoon of egg in a large bowl or bowl of electric mixer. [You can use either a hand mixer or a stand mixer.] Mix until light and fluffy, before adding the flour and stir until combined.
  3. Transfer dough onto greased parchment paper and pat into a 14”x10” rectangle. You can also use a rolling pin to level the dough.
  4. Brush dough with the remaining egg and sprinkle evenly with almonds.
  5. Stir together granulated white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the almonds.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden: both nuts and dough.
  7. Cut into 2”x1” wafers while hot – a dough cutter would be the best choice for cutting. Transfer wafers on wire racks to cool. Keep in an airtight container. Cookies are good for up to 4 days.
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  • Jackie
    February 16, 2011 3:41 am

    Back in the 50’s and 60’s, Keebler used to sell these cookies and I adored them. When they quit appearing on store shelves, I was disappointed. Thanks for this recipe; I must try them.

    • joy
      February 24, 2011 10:00 am

      OH, I didn’t know that. Did they come with the almonds on top? Well, hopefully this is better than the Keebler ones. :)

  • February 25, 2011 2:23 am

    Thats looks so tasty, The Cinnamon on top looks like a nice touch to top it off. Was just about to ask about the warm water part but then I saw your explanation :P

  • Wookie
    February 26, 2011 1:05 am

    Thank you so much! I ate these as a kid in Oklahoma, I think they were made by Keebler? I have tried to explain them to people, but I have not found anyone else that had heard of them. I did not remember how to spell the name, so I had not been able to find them on the internet. Now I stumble upon your recipe. Very fortuitous. Thanks again, can’t wait to make them.

  • March 2, 2011 2:21 pm

    They look delicious.

  • March 3, 2011 8:03 am

    I love this type of cookie, but haven’t seen a recipe for it before. Looking forward to trying it!

  • Jackie
    March 29, 2011 10:47 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I loved the Keebler version of these cookies and have been searching for a recipe since high school. A long time ago….

  • Suzy
    June 8, 2011 4:13 pm

    My mom used to make this when I was a kid. I really like them – had forgotten about them until I stumbled on your blog, whilst looking for a recipe for shrimp stir-fry!

  • James
    August 27, 2011 3:53 pm

    The reason your cookies were not the hit they should be is that you omit the key ingredient- almond extract, not citrus zest. These have been a long standing tradition in our New Jersey household from my grandmother of Dutch descent. When I baked them last Christmas in Europe I was informed by a Dutch women that these are not Jan Hagels, but that they were a tasty enough almond butter cookie. Maybe Keebler is responsible for this recipe being known as Jan Hagels in the US. When I was a baker in the south west not many people knew them, and I was flattered when grown men cried when I took another job and my recipes with me. (For younger people, there was no Internet back in the ’80s so one was able to maintain a sense of propriety over recipes. Now in less than a minute I found ten postings of the same Jan Hagels recipe I grew up with- Welcome to the Information Age!).

    • joy
      September 13, 2011 1:11 am

      Hi James! Thanks for your input — I’ll try adding almond extract next time. I was just following the recipe from the Gourmet cookbook, which I just got when I made this. It was my introduction to Jan Hagels.

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