These German Cinnamon Star Cookies are completely delicious, and perfect for Christmas. And for those of you who have allergies or intolerances, they’re also naturally dairy and gluten free!
I first had these starry drops of heaven (officially known as ‘Zimtsterne’) when I was about 9. Someone in our village made our family some of these traditional star biscuits one Christmas … I was hooked! I vowed they would always be a staple in my home at Christmas time.
They’re full of everything Christmassy … the heady aroma of warm cinnamon and vanilla, mixed with nuts and a dose of sugary sweetness. For those of you who love macaroons, these Christmas star cookies are very similar. They’re beautifully chewy with a delicate crispy glaze. And they’re amazingly easy to make. My children love the whole process, from cutting out the stars, to painting the ‘icing’ or glaze on. I particularly love the eating bit.
And I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you. They’re incredible straight from the oven.
What You Need:
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 3 1/4 cup ground almonds (or hazelnuts)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- A pinch of salt
What You Do:
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C (without the fan as it can cause the glaze to brown before the cookies are done). Place the rack on the bottom rung of the oven.
- Beat the egg whites in a medium-sized bowl until peaks form (be careful not to over-beat the egg whites or the icing/glaze won’t turn out right). Stir in the icing sugar until combined. Reserve 2 generous, heaping tablespoons of this egg white mixture for the glaze.
- Add the nuts, cinnamon, vanilla essence and salt and beat until the dough comes together in a fairly stiff but pliable mass. If it’s too soft to work with add a few more ground nuts and icing sugar. (If the dough is too sticky, add a little more nut flour.)
- Press/roll the dough onto a non-stick surface sprinkled with icing sugar to a thickness of about 1/3 inch and cut out as many stars as you can. And repeat!
- Use a pastry brush to brush on the reserved egg white mixture in a thin layer (covering it properly) reserving enough for all of the cookies and extending the glaze out to the edges of the cookies.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, making sure the underside of the cookies is dry (showing they’re cooked) but the glaze is still white, not golden. Let the cookies cool completely.
- The cookies can be stored in a dry, airtight container in a cool place for at least 2 weeks.
If you’ve never made these before, please give them a go. You won’t regret it.
You may also like to see other Christmas Recipes & Christmas Baking Ideas … including: