Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Zimtsterne - Cinnamon Stars

During the recent days I didn't feel able to blog. Just like the rest of the nation I was shocked, horrified and deeply saddened by the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT. I am still at a complete loss of words.

I spent more time with Kaefer, hugged her a little bit tighter than usual. On Sunday we baked cookies together. I remember when I was a child I loved to be in the kitchen with my mom and baking cookies with her. The best was when my brother who is almost five years older than me joined us, and we had so much fun together. Somehow my memories are full with a warmly lit kitchen while outside it was getting dark and it was always snowing. Beautiful childhood memories.

This time Kaefer and I dared to bake Zimtsterne - cinnamon stars - one of the most traditional German Christmas cookies. It's a little bit tricky and ours are wonderfully imperfect, but oh so yummy!

My recipe is still from Germany and of course it's in metric. You'll need

- 3 egg whites
- 200 g powdered sugar
- 1 package vanilla sugar (you can get this in sets of six in specialty stores; sometimes even Safeway carries it)
- 400 g almond meal (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Beat the egg whites to stiffness; while doing this add the powdered sugar and the vanilla sugar (I mix those before). Put aside 1/2 cup of the stiff egg white and place in fridge.

2. Fold in 300 g of the almond meal and the ground cinnamon. Cover the dough and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper. Pre-heat oven to 300 F.

4. Cover your working area with the remaining almond meal and roll out the dough on top of it (ca. 7 mm thickness)

5. Dip a star shaped cookie cutter into cold water, cut the shape out of the dough and put on baking sheet. Do so until all the dough is used up. Cover the stars with the remaining stiff egg whites.

6. Bake the cinnamon stars for approx. 25 minutes. Keep them in a metal tin (they taste even better after a few days).



Elephant's Child said...

'Just like the rest of the nation I was shocked, horrified and deeply saddened by the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT. I am still at a complete loss of words.'
Just like the rest of the world... All of us are diminished by these tragedies. None of us have the words. I don't believe there are any.
Your cinnamon stars look wonderful. I have to ask is vanilla sugar like the caster sugar I infuse with vanilla beans - and how much is in a package? I would really love to make these - for the flavour, and in honour of my German father.

Maria Ontiveros said...

I think German and Dutch bakeries are always the best!
Your starts are gorgeous.

Willkommen auf meiner Kreativseite. said...

Mmmmh! Die duften bis hierher! Du machst einem den Mund wässrig. Zimtsterne sind so ziemlich die einzigen Plätzchen, die mir nie gelingen, deshalb mache ich sie nicht mehr.
Ich wünsche dir und deiner Familie ein wunderschönes und friedliches Weihnachtsfest und ein gesundes Jahr 2013

Liebe Grüße

Seraphinas Phantasie said...

Liebe Carola,
Deine Zimtsterne sehen total lecker aus und ich werde mir sicher das Rezept notieren. So traurig diese Geschichte ist, finde ich gut, daß nun endlich ein neuer Gesetztesentwurf kommt zu den Waffen.
Viele liebe Grüße Synnöve

Diana said...

We never made this cookie, but it looks really good. I wonder what the almond meal tastes like. I guess we're going to have to try it. Thanks for posting the recipe.

Darla said...

Never had these cookies but oh my they sound delicious. Your daughter looks so grown up and lovely.

Isn't it cold here today?


Kokopelli said...

Homemade Zimtsterne GOT to be a little imperfect. :) Try the next time with a small kitchen knife and not with a brush. Makes it a lot easier to decorate.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Looks delicious! Merry Christmas! Yes we must hug our children more!

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

These look wonderful and so, so pretty!!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Yummy, yummy, yummy... Ich liebe Zimt.

Jeanne said...

Your daughter is just lovely, and yes, a tragic event like this draws us in and causes us to so appreciate our children and famillies. Your cookies are lovely!

Marcie said...

I think - even a whole week later - we're all holding our children a little closer. Wishing you and yours peace and joy!

Ginnie said...

I WOULD enjoy those if only I could get my hands on them, Carola. HA! Next year at the Christmas markets I will make sure to look for some. We DID find some lebkucken this yeat and ate it on the spot. :) I love when you show us images of Kaefer with you, doing whatever!