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Zimtsterne – Cinnamon Stars – a delicious blend of ground almonds and cinnamon topped with a sweet meringue glaze. You’re going to love this easy, delicious and traditional German Christmas Cookie.
December already – oh my! There are so many recipes I’d like to try this year and with only 30 days left in 2014, it looks like I won’t make it! So before the holidays get away from me I wanted to post these lovely traditional German Christmas Cookies. Zimt is German for cinnamon and sterne is star, and that is exactly what these are … cinnamon star cookies.
The dough is simple to make using ground almonds, sugar, cinnamon and egg whites. This recipe calls for a small amount of flour but there are many variations available for those requiring gluten free cookies.
The dough is rolled out and cut into star shapes then painted with a meringue glaze before baking. This fascinated me and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. While painting icing on each cookie is a bit tedious, I think it was well worth the effort. It’s not hard and was actually fun – sort of like decorating cut out cookies.
I love these old recipes from far away places – and this one does not disappoint.
Zimtsterne taste better as they age – so they are perfect for gifting. These cookies are making their way to family members in Georgia today. I hope my traveling husband doesn’t eat too many before he gets there!
Almonds and cinnamon create a wonderful base and the sweet meringue makes these irresistible.
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A traditional German Christmas cookie with a delicious blend of ground almonds and cinnamon topped with a sweet meringue glaze
- 300 grams almonds, finely ground (approximately 2 cups)
- 100 grams super fine granulated sugar, approximately 1/2 cup
- 50 grams unbleached all-purpose flour, approximately 1/3 cup
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 large egg white
- 1 dash salt
- 200 grams super fine granulated sugar, approximately 1 cup
- 1 - 2 teaspoons milk
- FOR THE DOUGH:
- In a large bowl whisk together the almonds, 100 g sugar, flour and cinnamon.
- Add 2 egg whites and mix using a rubber spatula until the dough holds together. It will be sticky.
- Press the dough into a large circle on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with additional plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or more.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silpat mat.
- Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to approximately 1 cm or 3/8" thick. Cut out star shapes and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Re-roll the remaining dough cutting out more stairs until all dough is used.
- FOR THE MERINGUE GLAZE:
- Beat the egg white with the salt until stiff. With the mixer on, slowly beat in the sugar until incorporated. The meringue should have a spreading consistency but not be runny. Add a little milk if needed, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon at a time until you get the right consistency.
- Place about 1/2 teaspoon of meringue in the middle of one unbaked cookie. Immediately use a small brush to drag the meringue out onto the tips of the stars. Continue until all cookies have a meringue glaze.
- Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes - watching carefully as you do not want the meringue to brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
I used a digital scale and measured all ingredients in grams. The conversions to cups are approximate.
The traditional German star has 6-points, I only had a 5-point star cutter so that's what we used. My cookie cutter is 2 1/2 inches tip to tip.
Adapted from a recipe on Food.Com by Thorsten.
Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? We really did – and ate way too much! It feels good to get back to “normal” dishes and fewer casseroles. Did you bake this weekend? Please feel free to leave a link in the comments section with your favorite Christmas cookie and thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia