Hamburg Elbe sand

by | Baking, Cookies | 0 comments

Cookies: delicious, crispy, sweet and a touch salty, just like the Elbe.

Of course, we immediately had the perfect name for this Nordic version of the lovely “heather sand” cookies:
Hamburg Elbe Sand.


Preparation time

2 hrs.
(a lot of rest time)


Baking time

10-14 min.


About 80 cookies
(2 baking sheets)

Kitchen know-it-all

" The Elbe: freshwater or saltwater?

Neither: The Elbe is a mixture of sea and river water. This is called brackish water.

The pretty word Brack comes from the Low German Brak (Low German) It means break, hole, crack. If the seawater makes a landfall, e.g.: after a dike breach during a storm surge – thus remains on land, then this is a brack.
If it is gradually diluted by rain and the salinity of the water drops to a level of 0.1% -10% salinity, then it is called brackish water.

The river Elbe has this salinity in its upper course, i.e. a little below Wedel up to Cuxhaven, where it flows into the North Sea. It is therefore a brackish water, with or without storm surge. The salt water of the North Sea flows with the tide far up into the river Elbe, mixes with the fresh water and when the tide changes, the brackish water thus created also flows out again with the ebb tide. Brackish water is not dirty at all and since the river is clean again, we Hamburgers like to go swimming in the Elbe again. And when the big ships sail into – or out of – the port of Hamburg, they make quite a few waves. And in this “swell” you can splash around quite nicely. But be careful where you jump in, of course not into the harbor water! And nasty currents also exist …

Swimming in the Elbe

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  • 250 g butter
  • 400 g flour
  • 160 g brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 tsp sea salt (preferably salt flakes)
  • some brown sugar for rolling

Vegan variant

If you use margarine instead of butter, you will have vegan cookies.

My recommendation: take Alsana Gold (now available in every well-stocked supermarket), which tastes almost like butter.


Melt butter in a frying pan and brown lightly.

Let cool completely until solid again – patience, because it takes a while, even if you put it in the refrigerator: Expect at least an hour.

Beat with a mixer until creamy.

Scrape the pulp from the vanilla pod.

If the salt is very coarse, crush it a little with a mortar.

Add sugar, salt and vanilla pulp and beat until creamy.

Add flour and knead by hand.

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Shape the dough into “rectangular sticks” about 3 cm in diameter. To do this, I always form rolls first and then flatten them on all four sides.

Roll in sugar.

At least 30 min. put in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 180°.

Cut Hamburger Elbsand into thin slices and spread them on a tray with a little space between them.

Bake for 10-14 min (top and bottom heat) until hamburger elf sand cookies are golden brown.

Since I bake in a gas oven where the heat only comes from the bottom, I turn the cookies after 8 min.

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Hamburg Elbe sand Last Update: 2021-04-16T08:55:15+02:00 da Marion
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