My most favorite Christmas cookies are by far Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars). The reason why I haven’t baked them last year is simply because they are quite frustrating to make. I am sorry to tell you that ugly truth, but believe me, they are worth the effort! If you love cinnamon you must try it, you will be hugely rewarded in the end, promise 😉
There are different versions of those cookies, most of them contain marzipan. I don’t know if the dough will be easier to work with if you add the marzipan, but as you might know already, I am not a huge fan of marzipan… So I was looking for a recipe without it and I found one in a magazine called AdventsBacken from LandIdee. I only slightly adapted it, I could almost contain myself 😉
What I learned as well is that there are different kinds of cinnamon, did you know that? The usual cinnamon you can buy in shops is usually the so called cassia-cinnamon from China which contains coumarin. Too much of this compound can be unhealthy. So either you don’t eat too many of those cookies (what seriously? who can resist them?) or you buy ceylon-cinnamon from Sri Lanka. I had to search the internet for a while but finally found a nice online shop with amazing spices where I bought my cinnamon. I can tell you that I fall in love in an instant. It is somehow even more intense than the cinnamon that you are used to! Give it a try!
The dough is similar to a macaroon dough. You first whip some egg whites with sugar until shiny and stiff. You mix almonds with cinnamon and some more Christmas spices and carefully fold them in. The mass you will end up with is more porridge like than dough like, and that the hard part. I floured my work surface and rolling pin, and using a few spoonfuls at a time I more patted than rolled the dough into a 1cm thick piece. Flour your star cutter quite generously and cut out stars and placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add the icing on top and let them dry out for a few hours before baking. You will love this crisp cookies with gooey center and crunchy icing on top.
You can store the cookies in an air tight container for several days up to 2-3 weeks. If they last that long 😉 I put them on the table to nibble away, and away they went quite fast. Don’t you also just love this cute cake stand? I am so in love with copper and red gold at the moment, I can’t believe it myself. I always though it is an old lady color, but hey, maybe I have reached that age to be called an old lady myself 🙂 So here I go and throw golden colors at you every time I can!
Have a lovely Christmas time,
PS: This recipe uses only egg whites, keep the egg yolks and I will show you this week two more cookie recipes where you can use the egg yolks 🙂
- 4 Egg Whites
- 300g Icing Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Mixed Spice
- 300g Almonds, ground
- 100g Hazelnuts, ground
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until almost stiff. Add the icing sugar bit by bit followed by the lemon juice and whisk until shiny and stiff.
- Take away about 5 tbsp of the egg white mixture for the icing later on the cookies. Keep in the fridge in the meantime.
- Mix the cinnamon together with the other spices and the ground nuts.Add the mixture to the egg whites and fold it in until you get a smooth mixture.
- Flour your work surface and rolling pin quite generously. Spoon a little dough on the flour and try to make a 1 cm thick piece of dough. Flour your cookie cutter and cut out stars. Place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Get the icing out of the fridge and spoon it onto the cookies.
- Let the cookies dry for at least 2 hours, then bake them in a pre-heated oven at 150°C for 20-25 minutes until firm. You must be able to remove the cookies without sticking onto the parchment paper. If it is still wet inside and sticks to the paper, add another 5 minutes of baking time. Check until the cookies are just baked underneath and no longer sticky. Be careful not to over bake them, otherwise they will be dry.
- Store them in an air-tight container for up to 2-3 weeks.