Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Zimtsterne - German cookies

I am doing a happy jingle today. Cause I got these cinnamon stars just right!! Or rather the icing, PERFEKT!! The last time I made them was over 2 years ago. Then, I referred to an english version of the cookies. Since then, I have come a long away. It shows in the cookies themselves. Being able to read and also understand the german language(especially recipes) has helped me tremendously!! 
While I thought there was only one recipe with almonds for the Zimtsterne, the Advent baking book of mine told me something else. There were different kinds of recipes for the same star, some with different spices, some with a different kind of icing, and others with a mix of nuts(which today's recipe is). 

To tell you the truth, I do not know why these cookies are called Zimtsterne. Zimt means cinammon and sterne means stars. The sterne part is explainable, but zimt ?? As you dig into these cookies, you get the slightest hint of spice, what is dominant though is the nutty, chewy texture of almonds.I guess some things just remain at that with no explanation..:-)
Coming back to the recipe, I followed the ingredients mentioned in my book, a mix of hazelnut and almond powders. For the method, I went against what I read in both the book and the internet. As we go along, will tell you why I decided to do it differently.


For the cookie dough:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 150 gm powdered sugar.
  • 150 gm almonds with skin, powdered 
  • 150 gm hazelnuts with skin, powdered 
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tbsp orange peel
  • salt to taste

For the icing:

  • 1 egg white
  • 100 gm powdered sugar.
For the cookies:

  1. Beat the egg whites and powdered sugar together till you get soft snowy peaks.
  2. In a bowl, mix the hazelnut and almond powders along with the salt, cinnamon and orange peel.
  3. Add the beaten egg mixture slowly to the above and knead together to form a dough(pictured above).
  4. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate it for an hour.
  5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  6. Sprinkle powdered sugar on a clean surface and flatten the dough to 1/4" thickness(or less). 
  7. Cut out stars and neatly arrange them on the tray(pictured above).
  8. Bake for 20 minutes at 150 C. 
  9. Take them out and let them cool. 
  10. Prepare the icing by beating together the egg white and the powdered sugar. The mixture should be thick.
  11. Apply the icing on the cookies with the help of a spoon(I used the back of a small baby spoon to spread out the icing on each star pictured above).
  12. The icing should set in about 20 to 30 minutes.
  13. Store the cookies in an air tight jar. Can be kept for upto 2 weeks.

  1. 99% of the recipes apply the icing before baking the cookies. Why I decided to try this method was with the past experience of having done the same and not resulting in pretty cookies. A comment from fellow blogger Shireen as to how she did it and stumbling upon a video which supported her theory I decided to give this method a try. Since the above icing is nothing but royal icing, the cookies taste equally good and you can keep them for upto 2 weeks.
  2. If you would like to bake the cookies along with the icing,  after step 7, apply the icing on the stars and bake them at 150 C for 20 minutes. Take care that the icing does not get brown. 
  3. If you would like to prepare zimtsterne with almonds, then simply skip the hazelnut powder and use 300 gm of almond powder instead.

1 comment:

  1. Wow May! These cookies look awesome!!Stunning pictures too!! My favourite season is here :)