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Cinnamon Star Cookies (German Zimtsterne) - Bakerette

Cinnamon Star Cookies (German Zimtsterne)

I had this awesome dinner menu planned in my head for when I got home from work, but then I started thinking about Austria and when I lived there. (How I jumped from menu planning to Austria, I’ll never know, but bear with me.) Anyway, as I was reminiscing about the good ole days in Austria, my mouth started watering as I thought about all of their traditional holiday desserts at Christmas time. Soon the dinner menu I had planned went MIA and I started in on this creation. After all, who doesn’t want dessert for dinner? It does have all of the nutrients you need for a meal…egg, protein (almonds–which, by the way are good for the blood, bones, energy and cholesterol!), and some fruit (lemon zest). The only things missing are milk and vegetables. (I did drink milk with the cookies, so I scored there). As an afterthought, I guess I could’ve made a side of veggies to eat with my cookies so I at least felt like I had eaten a complete meal :)

These cookies are called Zimtsterne (meaning, Cinnamon Stars) and they represent the Christmas star. Europeans usually begin making these cookies around St. Nicholas’ Day, which rolls around the first week in December. They are very delicious and chewy and, well, you get the picture.

Oh, I almost forgot…these cookies are gluten free and dairy free, too! So, for all of you allergic to gluten and milk, these are the cookies for you!

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Yields: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 whole egg whites (chilled)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2-2/3 cups Ground Almonds (Almond Meal)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. For The Meringue: Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (about 1 minute). Gradually add the powdered sugar until the whites are thick, creamy and somewhat stiff like royal icing used to hold gingerbread houses together (about 2 minutes more). In a Ziploc bag, fill about 1/2 cup of the meringue mix and set aside for topping the cookies.
  3. For The Dough: Fold the cinnamon, lemon zest and ground nuts into the remaining meringue mix to make a stiff dough.
  4. Line your work surface with a large sheet of parchment or waxed paper and lightly dust with powdered sugar.
  5. Gently turn the dough out onto the parchment paper, slightly flatten, and lightly dust with more powdered sugar as needed, then lay another piece of parchment on top of the dough. Roll the dough between the papers until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Peel off the top layer of paper.
  6. With a 3-inch star cookie cutter, cut cookies and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Re-roll excess dough and continue to cut cookies.
  7. Now snip a small corner off the Ziploc bag with the meringue mix. Roughly pipe a thin layer of the meringue mix over the top of each cookie, spreading it out evenly all over the top of the star with the back of a small spoon; taking care not to let the meringue drip over the sides.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly golden and meringue is set and crisp (not brown). Let the cookies cool and dry out before removing them from the cookie sheet. They will firm up and the meringue will crisp as they cool.
  9. Store in an airtight container in a dry place at room temperature. They will last several weeks and stack nicely when the meringue is dry.
3.0 from 2 reviews
Cinnamon Star Cookies (German Zimtsterne)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies, Christmas Desserts, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Cuisine: German
Serves: 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • 3 whole egg whites (chilled)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2-2/3 cups Ground Almonds (Almond Meal)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. For The Meringue: Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (about 1 minute). Gradually add the powdered sugar until the whites are thick, creamy and somewhat stiff like royal icing used to hold gingerbread houses together (about 2 minutes more). In a Ziploc bag, fill about 1/2 cup of the meringue mix and set aside for topping the cookies.
  3. For The Dough: Fold the cinnamon, lemon zest and ground nuts into the remaining meringue mix to make a stiff dough.
  4. Line your work surface with a large sheet of parchment or waxed paper and lightly dust with powdered sugar.
  5. Gently turn the dough out onto the parchment paper, slightly flatten, and lightly dust with more powdered sugar as needed, then lay another piece of parchment on top of the dough. Roll the dough between the papers until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Peel off the top layer of paper.
  6. With a 3-inch star cookie cutter, cut cookies and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Re-roll excess dough and continue to cut cookies.
  7. Now snip a small corner off the Ziploc bag with the meringue mix. Roughly pipe a thin layer of the meringue mix over the top of each cookie, spreading it out evenly all over the top of the star with the back of a small spoon; taking care not to let the meringue drip over the sides.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly golden and meringue is set and crisp (not brown). Let the cookies cool and dry out before removing them from the cookie sheet. They will firm up and the meringue will crisp as they cool.
  9. Store in an airtight container in a dry place at room temperature. They will last several weeks and stack nicely when the meringue is dry.
Notes
You can make your own almond meal in a food processor by grinding almonds until the nuts are finely ground, with just a few larger pieces. Once you’re done grinding, THEN measure them for this recipe.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 133 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbs: 15 g Sugar: 11 g Sodium: 17 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 4 g Cholesterol: 0 mg
About Jen

Jen is owner, author, and creative mind behind Bakerette. Jen eats a vegan diet and recently converted Bakerette to a plant-based website that offers a smattering of healthful recipes! Jen is author of the cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas, which can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Comments

  1. carriecwi@msn.com says:

    These cookies were our childhood favorite and we are trying this recipe as it is closest to our family recipe. The flavor is perfect but we too are having the same problem rolling out the dough. We are wondering if by using the almond meal, it’s too fine and more needs to be added to the recipe. We too worry by just adding more and more powdered sugar as we roll it out, the cookies will taste too sweet. Looking for any suggestions.

  2. I wanted to make Zimtsterne this year for my German boyfriend.
    This recipe did not work for me, at all.
    I followed the recipe exactly, but instead of getting a ‘stiff dough,’ I ended up with a kind of sweet almond mush consistency which was impossible to roll out into cookies (I tried.)
    Any idea what I did wrong?
    Maybe I should have beat the whites to stiff peaks first? I did get a nice consistency with the soft peaks and powdered sugar, and I had ground the almonds very fine.
    I’ll have to throw this out, and I hate the waste.
    I’m going to try Hedy Würz’s recipe instead, which involves ground almonds and walnuts, along with some flour.

  3. You got me at the word “chewy”. On the list for holiday baking!

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