Christmas cookies: Zimtsterne

21 Dec

Christmas is coming closer, you should use this weekend to bake some delicious home-made cookies if you haven’t done so already or if your stock has disappeared in your family’s and friends’ sweet loving stomachs :)

This week I felt like making a Christmas cookie recipe that you can find across Germany a lot. The cookies are called Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars) and they are 100% gluten free because you only use ground almonds or hazelnuts instead of flour for the dough.

Zimtsterne aka Cinnamon Stars

 

Makes about 50 cookies

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

1 pinch of salt

250 g icing sugar

1,5 tablespoons cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon rum, cherry liqueur or even lemon cream liqueur like Limoncello (use cherry or lemon juice as a substitute if you don’t want to use alcohol)

350g ground almonds or ground hazelnuts

Preparation:

1) Whisk the egg whites together with the pinch of salt until stiff.

2) Then blend in the icing sugar. This will make a very thick creme.

3) Put aside about 1/2 cup of the egg white cream for the icing and preheat the oven to 250 Celsius (480 Fahrenheit).

4) Into the remaining creme, mix the cinnamon, liqueur and the ground nuts.

5) In between 2 layers of plastic foil, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness (0.7 mm). Cut out the cookies with various cookie cutters (traditionally stars but horses, trees and moons are fun, too). If the dough comes out a little bit too sticky, cover the foil with white sugar.

6) Icing: You can either leave it as it is, or add some flavor by mixing in a few drops of Limoncello (lemon creme) liqueur, lime juice or even cinnamon.

7) Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for only about 3-5 minutes (the cookies will still look unbaked, so try to avoid that the edges turn brown).

8) While they are still warm, dip the cookies in the icing sugar or apply the icing sugar with a brush or knife. Decorate with chili hair or lime zest.

9) If you feel that the icing sugar doesn’t dry off well, you may put the cookies back into the oven for another 2-3 min (now at a very low temperature only, e.g. 150 Celsius or 300 Fahrenheit.

Tip: 

You can enhance the taste if you add a pinch of ground coriander or Chinese 5 spices seasoning (contains anise, fennel, cloves) to the dough.

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