Jan Hagel Biscuits

The Dutch have been making Jan Hagel biscuits for at least 400 years. They are thin and flaky, covered with nuts and sugar, but not too sweet, and lightly flavoured with cinnamon. Although Jan Hagels are a popular Christmas biscuit, the Dutch bake them all-year round, and so do we.



  • ½ cup (100 gram) butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup (70 gram) sugar
  • 1 egg, whisked. Use half of the egg in the dough, and keep the rest aside for later
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1¼ cup (150 gram) flour


  • 3 tablespoons (30 gram) coarse Dutch “kandij” sugar, pearl sugar, or coffee sugar. We use Chelsea's Chunky & Crunchy Coffee Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (30 gram) thinly sliced almonds


We use a rectangular, loose-bottom baking pan that measures 30 cm x 20 cm. Cut two sheets of baking paper of the same size.

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  2. Mix butter and sugar together until creamy.
  3. Add the cinnamon, salt, and half of the whisked egg, and mix well.
  4. Add the flour and mix briefly, until the dough starts to come together.
  5. Remove from bowl, form it into a ball, and place between two sheets of baking paper.
  6. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle that will fit into the bottom of your baking pan.
  7. Remove the top sheet of baking paper (you will need it again), and place the dough on the bottom of the pan.
  8. Brush the top of the dough with the leftover whisked egg.
  9. Sprinkle the sliced almonds and sugar on top, replace the top sheet of baking paper, and lightly roll the sugar and almonds into the dough with a rolling pin.
  10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.
  11. Remove from oven and cut into 3 cm x 6 cm rectangles while still hot.
  12. Leave biscuits to cool down in the baking pan.