Sand Dollar Cookies: A Perfect Beach Treat

Summer is the season of picnics and parties. It seems every weekend has at least one on the calendar and it’s booked up FAST–long before summer even officially begins. Not that I’m complaining–I love getting a bit of sunshine and fresh air–but it can be difficult to think up new and exciting goodies to bring when you want to impress while avoiding repeating anything you’ve served before. The pressure!

Sand Dollar Cookies

Luckily, there’s Pinterest. It has become my go-to source for inspiration lately, allowing me to browse randomly (or narrow down the results to a topic) and be able to view a wide variety of options while seeking the right treat. It isn’t perfect–there is a minefield of spam links you have to be aware of, to the point where my husband almost revoked my Pinterest privileges because I kept infecting my laptop–but it’s one of my favorite ways to brainstorm.

Sand Dollar Cookies

Yesterday I had a beach party to bake for and while I was thinking something blueberry at first, since they’re in season now, I came across Sand Dollar Cookies and couldn’t resist. I don’t think I could have found a more perfect fit for the theme if I had tried! They’re basically snickerdoodles with slivered almonds, but they’re absolutely adorable. Placing the almonds will take some time–between batches you’ll be rolling dough in cinnamon sugar and pressing almonds into the dough balls–but it’s mindless work. Easy yet makes a great impression!

Sand Dollar Cookies

Here’s to the summer party season!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Sand Dollar Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 72
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½-1 cup sliced almonds
Cookie Dough
  • 1 cup (16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⅔ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the topping sugar and cinnamon. Pour out your almonds into another small bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed for 1 minute.
  4. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for 4-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping the sides as needed.
  6. With the mixer on low, beat in the vanilla extract until just incorporated.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  8. With the mixer on medium-low, gradually beat in the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.
  9. Portion out the dough with a small cookie scoop (the 2-teaspoon size), roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place no more than 8 per cookie sheet--they will spread a bit.
  10. Flatten each ball with your hand and press in 5 slivered almonds into each in the shape of a star.
  11. Bake for 8 minutes, or until just baked--you don't want them to color too much.
  12. Leave on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

What do you usually bring to summer parties?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Skip to comment form

  1. Oh Carrie … these are fabulous! Love, love, love.

    1. Thank you! That means a lot to me coming from you, Sarah–your treats are always so wonderful!

  2. Carrie these are lovely! I should make them in the winter to remind me of the beach when it’s too cold to go!

    1. Thank you! Yes, they would be great for those long, cold, dark winter days to remind us that warmer days will return.

  3. I saw these on Sally’s page and thought they were the cutest cookies ever!! Now I think I really need to try them out 🙂

    1. Aren’t they just adorable? Once I saw hers, I had to make them!

    • Jenny on 15 July, 2013 at 12:14 pm
    • Reply

    Carrie these look SODELICIOUS!!! They are perfect for summer! Your photos are always absolutely amazing!! Great post as always! 🙂

    1. Thank you–you’re so kind! I like that these are snickerdoodles with a twist–something a little different without being completely unfamiliar.

  4. Those look yummy and are really cute!

    • Tomekha on 15 July, 2013 at 4:05 pm
    • Reply

    Sand dollar cakes…they look delish!

  5. So cute! I feel like treats like this involve some sort of crafty skills. I think my cookies would turn out lumpy and less pretty. As everything does when I try to recreate something from Pinterest, hah!

  6. Yummy!

  7. These are adorable. I wished I baked more.

    I usually bring a pesto salad with feta or ingredients to make a great tasting cocktail 🙂

    1. Cocktails are a must at a party!! Sounds like the perfect thing to bring!

  8. So cute! And no doubt delicious too.

  9. Carrie, these look perfect! I am going to try to repeat your prowess for an upcoming beach themed party, but am trying to think of an alternative as there are some nut allergy attendees…hmmm…so darn cute!

    1. I’m wracking my brain for an alternative… That is a challenge! They certainly taste just fine without the almonds, but then they don’t look like sand dollars as much. I have seen some where people do cut-outs instead, but that sounds a lot more labor intensive. I’ll let you know if I think of anything.

        • lori on 18 May, 2016 at 3:53 pm
        • Reply

        why not simple draw the almond shapes with icing?

        1. You could. But I wanted a cookie without icing, and I like the touch that the almonds give.

    • Barb on 11 August, 2013 at 2:21 am
    • Reply

    What size scoop do you use, or what size is the ball before you flatten them out? I am definitely making these adorable cookies.

    1. I used the small OXO scoop (#60, 2 tsp). Good question! Let me know what you think of them!

    • Lori Kinder on 28 December, 2015 at 2:00 pm
    • Reply

    I use slivered almonds in place of sliced almonds. Your cookies are great and not too sweet. Thank you!

    1. I like that swap-out–probably a little more flavorful, too! I’m glad you liked them!

    • Dyane on 4 June, 2018 at 12:34 pm
    • Reply

    Can I make these ahead of time and freeze them? I’m thinking of adding them to the wedding favors for my luau theme.

    1. You should be able to freeze them for up to 2 months. What a great idea! Congrats!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.