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Cinnamon stars

The Germans call these Christmas biscuits Zimsterne. They are a bit like macaroons, but rolled out and cut with a cookie press.

This recipe is for about 20 stars, but you can double it if you need more than a plateful.

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg white
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 110 gram icing sugar
  • 125 gram ground almonds or almond meal
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg white until it is quite stiff.
  2. Add the lemon juice and slowly mix in the icing sugar while whisking. Keep on whisking until it is thick and glossy.
  3. Set aside one tablespoon of the meringue mixture for the topping. (Store it in a small, airtight container.)
  4. Mix the cinnamon, lemon zest and the ground almonds, and gently fold into the remaining meringue mixture. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour, or overnight.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  6. Roll the dough between two layers of baking paper. You want it to be about 5 mm thick.
  7. Peel of the top sheet of baking paper and use a 5 cm star cutter to cut stars. (Some recipes suggest oiling the cutter to prevent the dough from sticking to it.)
  8. Lay the unbaked cookies on the baking paper.
  9. Check the constancy of the meringue topping that you have set aside. You can dilute it with a little water, milk or lemon juice if it is too thick.
  10. Brush a little of the meringue topping over the surface of each biscuit.
  11. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the topping has set, but not browned.

Cinnamon stars keep for about five days if you store them in an air-tight container.