Given that Christmas is getting closer and that this time of year always reminds me of home, I have been baking some traditional German Christmas biscuits/cookies: cinnamon stars or "Zimtsterne" as we call these at home.
These biscuits don't have any flour in them whatsoever, so if you have a problem with gluten, they might be a good alternative to other biscuits. The dough consists mainly of ground almonds with a lovely hint of cinnamon and the topping is like a meringue. The end result is a biscuit that's crunchy on the outside but still soft in the middle - delcious on a dark winter's afternoon with a cup of tea!
|Cinnamon stars - Zimtsterne|
Cinnamon stars (makes 25 - 30 biscuits)
These take about 90 minutes to make including resting & baking time.
for the dough:
1 egg white
75g icing sugar
a little lemon zest (optional)
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
150g ground almonds
for the topping:
1 egg white (or a bit less if possible)
100g icing sugar
a little salt
- Preheat the oven to 140 degrees (or 120 degrees in a fan oven).
- Line one or two baking sheets with baking paper.
- For the dough, beat the egg white until forming peaks, adding the icing sugar bit by bit.
- Add the zest, cinnamon and 125g of the 150g ground almonds by gently folding these into the egg white/sugar mix.
- Leave the dough to rest in the fridge for 30 - 45 minutes.
- Sprinkle the rest of your ground almonds (25g) onto your work surface and roll out the dough to ca. 0.5cm thickness. If the dough is still very sticky, simply place a piece of kitchen foil/cling film on top and then roll it out.
- With a biscuit cutter (traditionally a star shape but use whatever you fancy), cut 25 - 30 biscuits out of the dough and gently lift the stars/shapes with the help of a knife onto the baking sheets.
- For the topping, beat the egg white with the icing sugar and salt to form firm peaks. Using a pastry brush or knife spread the topping on the biscuits and bake these for ca. 18 - 20 minutes until the meringue topping is cooked but not browned.