Traditional recipes

Cinnamon Stars

Cinnamon Stars

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Country Crock Spreadable Sticks
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Separate 1 egg; set aside.

Beat Country Crock® Spreadable Sticks with 1 cup sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in whole egg, egg yolk and vanilla until blended. Beat in flour. Divide dough into 4 pieces and shape into disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove plastic wrap and roll dough 1/8-inch thick on floured surface. Cut out cookies with 2-inch star or round cookie cutter; arrange on prepared baking sheets. If dough becomes too soft, return to refrigerator to firm up. Brush tops of cookies with lightly beaten egg white, then sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar blended with cinnamon. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are just golden. Let stand 2 minutes; remove cookies from sheets and cool completely on wire rack.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon water

In a food processor, pulse almonds with 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar until finely ground, about 1 minute (do not grind into a paste). Add cinnamon and zest, and pulse twice.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites and salt with an electric mixer at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually whisk in remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Continue to whisk until meringue is glossy and stiff, but not dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer 1/3 cup meringue to a small bowl. Add remaining meringue to mixture in processor, and pulse just until dough comes together. Place dough on parchment lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar pat into a disk, and chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, with racks in middle and upper thirds. Dust top of dough lightly with confectioners' sugar, top with parchment, and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough using a 1 1/2-inch star-shaped cutter, and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Dip cutter into confectioners' sugar frequently to prevent dough from sticking. Reroll scraps, and cut more shapes.

Stir the water into reserved meringue brush mixture generously over tops of stars using a small paintbrush. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until firm when gently pressed, but not hard and dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.


Related Video

This was my first ever recipe that involved meringue, so chances are high I lack some knowledge here, but this recipe seems really incomplete. I didn’t even try to roll this dough. It was wet and sticky even after an extra 1/3 cup of sugar (or so). I let it rest in the fridge for about an hour, which may or may not have been the right thing to do. Then we rolled them with more powdered sugar and make little drop cookies, topped with the extra meringue. I baked the daylights out of them and even after more than 30 minutes I was still pulling meringue shells off the baking sheet, leaving lumps of raw dough underneath. They taste fantastic. I would have never put lemon and cinnamon together but it works beautifully. I will not make these again. At least not until I have more experience with meringues. I suspect there are some major gaps in my knowledge that an experienced baker would probably just know intuitively. Alas, this recipe is not for the meringue novice.

Rolling: I rolled and kneaded the dough between two sheets of plastic, and had no problems at all. Meringue: Put a little dot in the middle of each cookie and spread it finely with a small knife or brush. It does not melt and even out, but keeps whatever texture you leave it with. The meringue is a sort of meringue and cooking it with the cookie for the whole cooking time made it deliciously crispy. Dough: I found it lacked liquid to keep together so I added a spoon or so of eggwhite. Cooking: Don't overcook. They need to be a bit chewy. I overcooked one batch and though it tastes amazing, its too hard and doesn't have the right feel.

Four forks because these cookies are amazing (I used to eat them as a child!) but not a perfect recipe. As far as I can tell from other sources, the dough is supposed to be VERY sticky with these cookies, so I didn't lose heart when I had gotten my ball of sticky dough together. I popped it in the fridge for 20 minutes while I cleaned up a bit, then rolled it between cling film with not too much extra sugar. I found dipping the cutter in water much more helpful than dipping in sugar. This is definitely not a recipe for a baking newbie, but it's really not too hard as long as you expect very sticky dough-- it's supposed to be like that! Do NOT over-bake. My oven is a piece of crap (and every oven is different) but I found 12 minutes too long. Some people even say they should be raw in the middle when you take them out-- they definitely shouldn't be crispy. I would also suggest not cooking the icing on for 5 extra minutes in the oven, the cookies will burn and the icing won't be white. Just put the icing on while they're cooling on the rack. This icing is not really meringue, it's what the British call "Royal Icing" and it doesn't need to be cooked-- it will just dry slowly over 24 hours. You can even put a wet cloth over the bowl with the icing in it, put it in the fridge and use it the next day to ice-- just add a bit of water if it's too thick. Before the icing sets, you can add pieces of slivered almond/hazelnut on top to make them pretty. I make them with hazelnuts, I think they're better that way, but the almond ones are very nice, too.


Related Recipes:

I just read the recipe for Cinnamon Stars: The Royal Family and there is no mention on what to do with the three cups of almonds. Add almonds to the bowl whole or chopped.

Hi! The recipe uses 3 cups ground almonds.

Most of us only have regular ovens in the USA… will these cookies bake the same here?? It’s a bit confusing, but sounds DELICIOUS!!

Hi! They should bake the same, but the meringue might not stay as white as in the picture.

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Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne) German Christmas Cookies

This is the one cookie my husband requested our first Christmas. I had never had them so this recipe is from an amazing blog called Spoonful of Sugar. They are difficult but this recipe makes them also delightful and fun to try if you have the time. The best thing about this recipe (besides the sit down, relax, and have a cup of tea step!) is she gives you her hints after a disastrous first attempt. If you follow this exact, even a non-careful cook like me can make these delicious. Her hints are below, but I will say that I think much depends on the almonds. If they aren't ground just right, you will be nearly unable to form them. You can try chilling them longer but I have given up before and just made them round globs. they are still delicious, so don't throw the batter out, even if you think it is unworkable! * I beat the egg whites with the lemon juice to ensure that they whipped up to the biggest possible volume. * Mixed the ground cinnamon with the ground almonds before folding that mixture into the meringue. * Most importantly, I rolled the dough out between two sheets of clingfilm (Plastic wrap). I am the Clingfilm Queen! This eliminates the need to cover the work surface in extra sugar and thus removes the possibility of things ending in a sticky mess. Divide the dough into smaller portions to do this, keeping the remainder of the dough in the fridge whilst working with one portion. * Dipped the cookie cutter in some cold water to prevent it sticking. * Re-rolled all the scraps as they hadn't been toughened or made overly sticky by adding in extra sugar. The cookies taste as good as they look. Sweet, almondy, and with a heavenly aroma and kick from the cinnamon. Oh, I did have to bake them a lot longer than the recipe or. I did 320 degrees for I think around 16 minutes each, it might have been my oven, or mine were thicker, anyway just keep checking them and take them out when they just get a bit beige. My first batch were undercooked and the ones a bit crispier on the outside were awesome.


Cinnamon Stars – German Christmas Cookies

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix applesauce and cinnamon in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. (You may need use your hands to incorporate all of the cinnamon.) Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap. Cut dough into desired shapes with 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Make a hole at top of ornament with drinking straw or skewer. Place ornaments on baking sheet.

Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally.)

Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. Decorate with opaque paint markers, found in arts and crafts stores, if desired.


What are Zimtsterne?

Zimtsterne (aka cinnamon star cookies) are a type of German almond cookies. They contain ground almonds (and sometimes also hazelnuts), cinnamon, and powdered sugar. They are topped off with a meringue icing before baking.

These festive cookies are naturally dairy-free and gluten-free, though they usually contain egg whites (in the cookie and the meringue icing).

Unlike a regular Zimtsterne Rezept (recipe), my recipe is fully vegan. However, there’s no need to fiddle around with egg alternatives like aquafaba or chia eggs. Instead, all you need to form this Cinnamon star cookie dough is a little bit of orange juice – easy peasy! Plus, this recipe omits a baked icing option, for a simple vegan royal icing glaze.

Whereas usually, these delicious German cookies would be available all over the globe during the holidays, at Christmas fairs (Weihnachtsmarkt) and markets – this year, it looks like things may be a little different. So, it’s the perfect time to get in the kitchen and make some of these cinnamon vegan almond cookies (and maybe even give some away as gifts)!

Here are the ingredients that you will need for this recipe:


Cinnamon Stars - Recipes

Cinnamon stars were first introduced into Swiss kitchens during the 1600s. Typically enjoyed at Christmas, these sweet treats incorporate ingredients that were once considered an expensive delicacy and are popular across all German-speaking countries.

Ingredients

  • 3 lg egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 1¾ (210 g) confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 12 oz (350 g) ground almonds
  • 1 T (9 g) ground cinnamon
  • Granulated sugar for dusting
  • 2½ T (35 ml) kirsch or lemon juice

Directions

Beat egg whites with salt until they form stiff peaks gradually fold in 1 C (120 g) confectioners’ sugar. Mix in almonds and cinnamon. Transfer dough to a sugar-dusted surface roll out ⅓-in (7 mm) thick. Cut dough with a star-shaped cookie cutter and transfer to baking sheets. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake 8–12 minutes or until firm outside and soft in the center cool completely on a rack. To make glaze, combine remaining ¾ C (90 g) confectioners’ sugar with kirsch or lemon juice. Dip tops of cookies in glaze let dry completely.


Recipe: Cinnamon Stars

Cinnamon Stars, photographed Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, at the Houston Chronicle office in Houston.

Jon Shapley, Staff photographer / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

Cinnamon Stars, photographed Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, at the Houston Chronicle office in Houston.

Jon Shapley, Staff photographer / Staff photographer Show More Show Less

4 cups finely chopped pecans

Instructions: Heat oven to 300 degrees. Beat egg whites until they are stiff. Add sugar, cinnamon and lemon rind. Set aside one half of this batter. Fold pecans into remaining batter.

Drop about 1 teaspoon of pecan batter on greased cookie sheet and top with about 1 teaspoon of the batter without pecans. Bake in oven about 20 minutes. Let sit briefly and then gently remove from cookie sheet.

Makes 24-30 cookies

Note: A meringue topped chewy cookie that does not resemble a star but is tasty nonetheless.


In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Add the confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Continue beating for 5 minutes after the last addition. The mixture should be very stiff, like the icing used to hold a gingerbread house together.

Remove 1/2 cup of this meringue mixture and set aside for icing.

Fold the raw almond meal and cinnamon into the larger portion of meringue. Add the Kirschwasser, if you are using it, and incorporate.

Chill the dough for about 1 hour.

Using ample confectioners' sugar on your baking board or clean countertop, pat the dough into a square and roll out to 1/2-inch thick (or 1 centimeter).

Cut out stars with a cookie cutter that has been dusted with confectioners' sugar. Dust the cookie cutter between each cut.

  • Cutting out the stars is a sticky process. Wash off and thoroughly dry the cookie cutter as often as necessary to achieve sharp star points.

Place stars on a nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush or spread the reserved meringue icing on each star, working it out to all the points.

Let the stars dry overnight (about 24 hours, if you can). An oven is a good place if you don't forget they are there and heat for something else.

The next day, heat the oven to 325 F. Bake each tray for 10 to 15 minutes. This is to dry out the cookies a little more and bake the egg whites. Try to remove the cookies before the icing turns brown, although a little brown tint can look nice.

Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and let them cool completely on a wire rack before storing in a covered container in a dry place at room temperature.

Enjoy with tea or coffee, or place them in pretty, beribboned bags to be given away as a little gift.


Watch the video: Perfect Cinnamon Stars Zimtsterne (January 2022).