By Daniel Plan Chef Sally Cameron

A holiday cookie called Sand Tarts has been a family tradition for decades. A thin, crisp, rolled cookie with lots of fresh orange zest, I baked these cookies for years with my mom until she died six years ago. Since then, the recipe card, in her handwriting, stayed hidden in my files. Baking them was not the same without her. Last year I decided to bake them in her honor and adapted the old recipe. What great memories it brought back.

1940’s Recipe

Unwrapping the chilled cookie dough, the scent from the fresh orange zest made me smile with anticipation. Adapted from the 1940’s Woman’s Home Companion, this tattered treasure holds the original recipe for Sand Tarts.

Baking with partially hydrogenated shortening, white flour and white sugar was standard in the 1940’s. Ingredients I’ve banished from my pantry in the quest to eat more healthfully. This revised recipe has the same great flavor, with updated ingredients.

I added whole wheat pastry flour to the white flour, butter instead of shortening, natural sugar instead of refined white sugar, and tripled the orange zest. In addition to organic ingredients, I also chose naturally colored sugar sprinkles.

Naturally colored sugar sprinkles come in softer shades than the bright traditional colors. Concerned about food dyes made with synthetic chemicals, I chose decorative sugars from Nature’s Colors made by India Tree. These sugars use colorants from natural sources.

For the recipe and instructions, go to