Second cookie this year (I am soo behind, to think we could have been eating those already for weeks) and never to be missed in the Christmas bakery extravaganza: Zimtsterne or cinnamon stars with a thin snow white coating of meringue on top. An essential part of the German Christmas cookie collection and yours for only one half hour of your time – one might need a little more if you are painting each star as if it was a delicate porcelain miniature. Got to get going, more baking to be done. See here for the finished cookie.
Zimtsterne have another striking advantage, they only use egg whites and are therefore an excellent choice to use up all the whites that are left behind from other Christmas cookies where a lot of yolks are required. I usually freeze leftover egg whites to be used up for meringues, definitely not omelettes.
Zimtsterne – cinnamon stars
for about 50 cookies, adapted from a 1992 Brigitte cutting
500g (17.5oz) ground almonds (preferably with skin)
300g (10.5oz) icing sugar or confectioners’ (powdered) sugar + a little more to roll out the dough
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup or honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 egg whites
100g (3.5oz) icing sugar / confectioners’ sugar
1 egg white
Mix almonds, icing sugar, syrup and cinnamon with the liquid egg whites to form a dough, either by hand or any kitchen aid. Roll out portions of the dough on a surface dusted with icing sugar or between two sheets of cling film, about 5mm (1/3 inch) thick. Using a star cookie cutter (about 4-5cm or 3 inches), dipped every time in icing sugar, cut out stars and place on a baking sheet with baking parchment. There is no need to allow for huge amounts of space between the cookies, they will not expand much more. Add the rests to the next portion of dough and continue to roll & cut out more stars.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Mix the single liquid egg white with the icing sugar and beat until you get a glistening white glaze. Paint the icing on each star with a pastry brush and bake for about 10 minutes. The cinnamon stars should still be white but firm and not browned. Take the cookies of the sheet (they might be still a little delicate) and cool on a wire rack.