Certain cookies just just have to be Christmas Cookies. This Cinnamon Star Cookie Recipe, or as they are more commonly known in Germany, Zimt Sterne, is one of those. ( Face it, some cookies just have to be eaten at certain times of the year, and no other…. gingerbread men are odd in July… unless they are in a bathing suit.)
I do have to say, that Cinnamon Stars/ Zimt Sterne have a different kind of flavor. It’s a strong, cinnamony/lemony taste. The cookie itself is dense, and a bit chewy… and the meringue on top is light, sweet and crisp. My recipe makes a light colored cookie,not the dark one you often see, so perhaps it’s not as strong tasting.
In the back of my head I think… kids won’t like these much… but my 9 year old really likes them (and she’s the picky one)… however, if you plan to feed them to children, and feel like you need to dial back the strength of the flavor, put in less lemon peel, or use dried lemon peel rather than fresh.
Zimt Sterne ingredients are simple, almonds, egg whites, powdered sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest, so as long as you are using the right powdered sugar, this cookie is GLUTEN FREE…. perfect for those who want a cookie, but can’t handle wheat flour. As usual I’ve included loads of step-by-step photos to help guide you through the process. It’ll be easy.
Give them a try. They are small… lovely with a cup of coffee or tea… and a nice addition to your Christmas Cookie plate.
Quick Look at the Contents
Cinnamon Star Cookie Recipe (German Zimtsterne)
Supplies for the Cinnamon Star Cookie Recipe (German Zimtsterne)
German Cookie Plates
These Cardboard Bowl/Plates are perfect for Christmas cookies! Load them up with cookies, chocolates, nuts and candies… In our family, we each got one of our own on Christmas Eve! Mom would import round fluted cardboard plates printed with Christmas patterns… but these square ones are essentially the same, without the import charge.
Step By Step Instructions with Photos
Cinnamon Star Cookie Recipe (German Zimtsterne)
Whip the Egg Whites and Powdered Sugar Together
It will be a not too fluffy, sticky, glue-like substance
Set Aside Approximately 8 Tablespoons of the Egg While Mix in a Zipper Baggie
Yes, you can put it in a piping bag…
Measure Out the Ground Almonds, Ground Cinnamon and Lemon Zest
Then give it a quick stir to get it mixed
I bought my ground almonds … you can find them at health food stores, Trader Joes, and some supermarkets may carry them. Alternatively, you can grind your own almonds in a food processor…. put in the almonds and let them process until fine. Keep an eye on it though… there is a fine line between ground almonds and almond paste.
Dump the Almond Mix Into the Egg Mix
Stir them together with a wooden spoon
Why a wooden spoon? It’s tradition.
When the Ingredients are Combined… They Will Look Like This
Sprinkle Powdered Sugar on Your Work Surface
Grab a Ball of Dough (not all the Dough… Just a Baseball sized Lump… About 4 Inches in Diameter)
Pat the Dough to a Disk, set it on the Powdered Sugar
Rub the Disk In the Powdered Sugar a Bit, Then Flip the Disk Over
See how there is sugar on both sides?
Rub Powdered Sugar On Your Rolling Pin
You don’t want anything to stick
Roll Dough By Pressing Gently Outward, and Flipping the Dough Semi-Frequently
You want it to be 1/2 centimeter thick… about 1/3 inch
Cut With A Star Shaped Cookie Cutter (mine is about 2 inches across at widest point)
Cut the cookies close together to avoid re-rolling the dough too often
Then Lift the Cookies Onto a Baking Sheet
An Offset Spatula is Perfect for This
Cut Out Stars on the Parchment Lined Baking Sheet
You can place them close together… these cookies don’t spread
Moosh Together the Dough Scraps… Add Some New Dough
Then roll and cut again, and again… until the dough is used up
When You Filled Your Baking Sheet With Stars… Clip the Corner of the Meringue Bag.. And Color the Stars In
I find it best to start with an outline… then fill the middle
Ready For The Oven
Bake at 325 for 15 Minutes.
Store Cinnamon Stars/ Zimt Sterne In An Airtight Container… In a Dark Place
They Will Last For Weeks If Stored Correctly
German Christmas Cookie Recipe Books
Looking for German Cookie Recipe books? Check Amazon!
Still looking for Recipes?
click here–> Traditional German Christmas Cookie Recipes
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