Thursday, December 17, 2009

Zimtsterne Cookies

Honestly, I don't know what I'm thinking sometimes. Like this morning when I thought I would make some cinnamon star cookies just like I had in Heidelberg at the Christmas Market. Back in 2005 when I had them for the first time I LOVED them. Now, it might have had something to do with the fact that they were served warm, and it might have had something to do with the Christmas cheer that surrounded me, and it might have had something to do with the Gl├╝wein, but darn, they were good.
I'd found a recipe on the Internet that seemed ok, and I had all the ingredients, so this morning at 5:30am I started grinding almonds and beating egg whites. Notice it's dark outside the window? But I had my tea in a Christmas cup to warm me up.
The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups finely ground almonds, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 4 cups powdered sugar, 4 egg whites, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest [or 1 T kirsch]. Notice there is no flour and no butter, but trust me, these things are DELICIOUS!
First you grind the almonds to look like flour, then add the cinnamon. Then you beat the egg whites until stiff and add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Scoop out about 1/3 of the mixture and set aside for the icing. Add the lemon zest to the bowl and continue beating for about 5 more minutes until you get a stiff meringue. (I think this is where I get into trouble. I never seem to beat it long enough so when I add the almonds I get a soupy mess rather than a firm dough.) Then gently fold the almond mixture into the meringue.
Now the recipe says to roll the dough out about 3/8" thick. Mine was more like pour it out about 3/8" thick, so I kneaded in a little flour (because by then all my powdered sugar was gone) to thicken it up. Then I patted it out about 3/8" thick and started cutting my stars. By now I was thinking these things will never work out. Maybe you have to learn how to make them at your German Grandma's knee.

But, as I arranged them on cookie sheets I noticed that they were already starting to firm up so maybe they would be ok.

The last step is to take the reserved meringue and ice the top of each cookie. I used the back of a little demitasse spoon to coax the icing around and out to the ends of each point.
The cookies have to sit overnight before cooking so I stacked the cookie sheets up on the dining room table, and I'll cook them tomorrow morning. What a lot of work and aggravation for 67 cookies. It might be easier to just go back to Heidelberg and buy some.

Has anyone else ever made these? Why is my dough soooooo sticky? Help!?


The Lucy and Dick Show said...

I've never made them but if I have time, I'll give them a try. Can't wait to see the finished ones tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Ich liebe Zimtsterne!

Let me know if you're going out on a Christmas Market run, I'll join ya!

Karen xo

Martha said...

Geeze Laura!

They look perfect to me :)