Okay, like I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on preparing as many nostalgic Dutch cookies as possible. This time of year is an excellent moment for ‘cookies from the old days’, so that’s a fortuitous coincidence. In my opinion, a Janhagel cookie therefor should not fail.

Janhagel, a typical Dutch, rectangular cookie, sprinkled with coarse sugar granules and/or almonds. The name is not a direct recommendation for such a treat and crisp. As early as the 17th century commoners were designated as Jan Hagel. The name, however, was often meant as something less flattering and also applied to the riffraff on the fringes of society. The sailors at that time were equated with this riffraff and except Jan Hagel they were also called Jan Rap. Moreover, there are plenty of Dutch baking products with a boy’s name such as ‘Keesjes’, a kind of gingerbread cookies, the ‘blinde (blind) Dirk’ and ‘Jan in de zak’ (Jan in the bag). By the way, the blinde Dirk was called blind because no dried grapes were processed in this boiler cake.

All in all, this cookie has a long history and therefore rightfully can be called traditional and nostalgic. For its preparation, I again used the old recipe booklet of my mother in law, just as I did with the gevulde speculaas and half-and-half cookies and of which I am certain to use it many times more. Nostalgia also brings nice memories along and keeps us warm, something that we most certaincly could use at this time of year.



Recipe Janhagel

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: approx. 35 cookies

Recipe Janhagel


  • 250 gr flour
  • 175 gr butter
  • 125 gr lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 40 gr flaked almonds
  • 50 gr coarse sugar granules
  • 10 ml of milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with a little butter.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl to combine.
  4. Add butter and cut with two knives into small pieces.
  5. Knead with a cool hand together into a smooth ball.
  6. Press the dough on the baking sheet.
  7. Dust your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough smouth into a rectangle on the baking sheet to a thickness of ⅓ cm.
  8. Grease with milk and sprinkle with the flaked almonds and sugar grains
  9. Bake approx. 25 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and divide the rectangular cake into pieces of 4x8 cm.
  11. Remove them from the baking sheet and leave to cool on a wire rack.

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