Christmas Cookie Recipe: Cinnamon Stars or Zimtsterne

In her new cookbook, “Advent: Festive German Bakes to Celebrate the Coming of Christmas (Quadrille, $ 35), food writer Anja Dunk says Zimtsterne, or star-shaped cinnamon cookies, belongs to the trio. cookie classic that best sums up Adventsgebäck (Lebkuchen and Vanillekipferl are the other two). These classic cookies are baked at least once a week in her house before Christmas. If her boys had what they wanted, she would bake them all days.

Zimtsterne or Cinnamon stars

Makes about 30

INGREDIENTS

2 egg whites

1¼ cup powdered sugar, plus a little more for dusting

4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1 2⁄3 cups ground almonds (almond flour)

FOR THE ICING:

1 egg white

Little 3⁄4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the egg whites until stiff using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking all the time. Add the cinnamon and whisk for a few more seconds before incorporating the almond powder with a spatula, bringing all the ingredients together into a sticky paste.

Sprinkle the countertop with powdered sugar and roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut out star shapes with a cookie cutter and gently transfer them to the baking sheet, leaving 3/8 inch between each to allow for a bit of spreading. Re-roll the dough scraps in addition to cookies.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until top is golden and firm to the touch. They should still be soft on the inside. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, whip the egg white into stiff peaks using a hand-held electric whisk or an old-fashioned double whisk with a hand crank (my favorite choice; an egg white is a too small amount for kitchen appliance). Stir ¾ cup powdered sugar into the firm egg white until a thick, shiny icing forms.

Drop small amounts of frosting onto each cooled cookie and, using the tip of a knife, slide the frosting to the pointed ends of the star, making sure the entire top of the cookie is covered. Let air dry for 8 hours (overnight is ideal).

Kept in an airtight container, they keep well for a month or more.

Excerpt from Anja Dunk’s “Advent: German Bakes Festive German Bakes to Celebrate the Coming of Christmas” (Quadrille, $ 35)

About Victoria Rothstein

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