Zimtsterne – Gluten-Free Cookies

ZimtsterneI was browsing David Lebovitz’s site today, and I came across his post on Zimtsterne; delicious looking star-shaped cinnamon cookies which he buys from “Stohrer, Paris’ oldest pastry shop”.  He didn’t have a recipe on the site, but one of the commenters, someone named Alisa, had posted a German recipe with her comment.  So I thought I’d give it a try, since chewy, spicy cookies are right up my alley.

These cookies are interesting, because the icing is actually meringue that gets baked along with the cookie.  I was worried that my meringue was going to melt and dissolve in the oven, but it turned out really well.  The following is my adaptation of the recipe that Alisa has posted on David’s site:

Ingredients:

200 g ground almonds (or 100g ground hazelnuts, roasted, and 100g ground almonds)
2 large egg whites (or 1/4 cup)
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
125 g granulated sugar (I used unrefined organic cane sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Beat egg whites with lemon juice, salt and sugar until smooth and glossy, to a firm meringue. (It took forever for my meringue to firm up, I think maybe because my sugar was so coarse). Put aside 3 tablespoons of the meringue. To the remaining meringue add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ground nuts. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
Roll out dough to about ¾ cm on a parchment-covered counter (the dough is quite sticky, so you can roll the dough between two layers of parchment paper to make things easier).
Cut out stars, place on parchment-lined baking trays, and spread the meringue that you’ve put aside over the tops of the cookies. (I used a small silicone spatula to do the spreading of the meringue.)
Bake in the lowest part of the oven for 15-18 minutes (I baked mine for 18, but I think I’ll try 15 next time).
Remove from oven and let cool while still on the baking sheet. They should be stored in tins, and will get softer after 1-2 days. You can add a slice of apple (raw) to the tin where you store the stars to make them softer.

Wherever you are Alisa, thank you! Mine aren’t that pretty, since I don’t have any cookie cutters here, but they sure taste good.

Zimtsterne
Someone is verrry interested in the cookie dough…

Printable version:

Zimtsterne

Ingredients

  • 200 g ground almonds or 100g ground hazelnuts, roasted, and 100g ground almonds
  • 2 large egg whites or 1/4 cup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 125 g granulated sugar I used unrefined organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Beat egg whites with lemon juice, salt and sugar until smooth and glossy, to a firm meringue. (It took forever for my meringue to firm up, I think maybe because my sugar was so coarse). Put aside 3 tablespoons of the meringue. To the remaining meringue add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ground nuts. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
  3. Roll out dough to about ¾ cm on a parchment-covered counter (the dough is quite sticky, so you can roll the dough between two layers of parchment paper to make things easier).

  4. Cut out stars, place on parchment-lined baking trays, and spread the meringue that you’ve put aside over the tops of the cookies. (I used a small silicone spatula to do the spreading of the meringue.)
  5. Bake in the lowest part of the oven for 15-18 minutes (I baked mine for 18, but I think I'll try 15 next time).
  6. Remove from oven and let cool while still on the baking sheet. They should be stored in tins, and will get softer after 1-2 days. You can add a slice of apple (raw) to the tin where you store the stars to make them softer.
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2 Responses to Zimtsterne – Gluten-Free Cookies

  1. I think they look very elegant. Yes, your eggs will aerate faster if you grind up your cane sugar in a coffee grinder/mortar & pestle or whatever or if you don’t have any of those items maybe put your sugar between parchment and hammer it with one of those big rubber mallets. In fact one of those big rubber mallets comes in handy for all sorts of things! I consider it one of those kitchen essentials. Emmy is an absolute darling! I just love her!!!!!

    • Thanks Carolyn! I don’t have many tools here, but a big rubber mallet sounds like a good one to acquire…it would be fun to hammer the heck out of the sugar :). Emmy is so funny, she is mesmerized by my baking experiments (she knows she’s going to get the mixing bowl).

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