Zimtsterne are a Christmas staple in most German households, at least they are in my family. And there are as many recipes as families out there, maybe even more. For the most part, they are easy to make but glazing them is a bit of work. However, you will love how light and full of festive cinnamon flavor those little stars are.
Make sure, you're using almond flour from almonds that haven't been skinned, you want the sturdiness from those little skins in the cookies, it's all that holds them together.
- Eggs - 3 large, whites only
- Cream of Tarter - 1/4 tsp
- Powdered Sugar - 250 g / 9 oz.
- Vanilla Bean - 1, seeds of it
- Ground Cinnamon - 1 tbsp
- Ground Coffee - 1/2 tsp
- Almond Flour - 375 g / 13 oz.
- Sift the powdered sugar into a separate bowl and set apart.
- Preheat your oven to 215° Fahrenheit (yes, that low) and turn on the convection, if your oven does have it (mine does not and it works just as well).
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium low until they start to foam up
- Increase the speed to high and add the cream of tartar.
- Beat to soft peaks and start incorporating the powdered sugar in batches until used up and the mixture is very thick.
- Put 1/3 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl and set aside for later.
- In a separate bowl mix vanilla seeds, cinnamon, almonds, and coffee and then fold that into the egg mixture until nice and combined.
- Fill the dough into a large freezer bag and roll it out until it has the size of the bag and is evenly thick.
- Chill the dough for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
- Carefully remove the dough from the freezer bag (I use a sharp knife to cut the top layer of on all three sides) and with a cookie cutter, regularly dusted with more powdered sugar, cut stars. Make sure you're being very efficient, because you can't re-roll the dough from the scraps.
- Set the individual stars onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and use the meringue you're earlier separated to ice each star individually. I'm using an offset spatula, putting a dollop into the middle of each star and then just drag it towards the tips of the stars.
- Bake at 215° Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 175° Fahrenheit and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes.
- Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.