Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Zimtsterne: German Cinnamon Stars


The Christmas markets in Germany are definitely something I've alway wanted to experience, but never actually thought about planning a trip because of the obvious reasons: the cost of the trip, the fact that Germany just isn't a place for a weekend getaway when you live in California, and it's just bad timing to go in December...with the kids in school and just before Christmas.

But that all changed within one day last week, so I'm leaving for Germany on Monday!!

I'll spare you the details, but let's just say everything just magicially worked itself out, and I was able to book a flight and will be in Germany this time next week! I hope you'll check in as I'll try to post and share some photos on facebook and twitter...maybe even instagram (I'm soooo bad with instagram)!


Because of this last minute trip, I called my friend Barbara, who is originally from Germany, to ask if there is anything I shouldn't miss when I get to Cologne. She said there isn't anything in particular that she could think of, but just to try everything I see (good advice). She then went on to tell me about some Cinnamon Star cookies her mother always made at Christmastime, and sent me a translated page for a recipe, which had the ingredients, but was missing the baking instructions. So I found another recipe on Food Network and sort of made a combination of both recipes. I have to tell you, these cookies are delicious! They remind me of a French cinnamon macaron, and they also just happen to be gluten free!




ZIMTSTERNE: GERMAN CINNAMON STARS 


Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (10 oz) divided in half, powdered sugar, sifted
2 cups (10 oz) ground almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 275º F (135º C)

In a large bowl, combine half of the powdered sugar, the ground almonds and cinnamon and mix until well-combined. Set aside.


 Beat egg whites in bowl with mixer until soft peaks form. Add the other half of the powdered sugar and continue to beat for another 2 or 3 minutes until thick and creamy.
Remove 1 1/4 cups of the beaten eggs and set aside (I put it in a 
condiment dispenserfor easy decorating).


Add the almond mixture to the rest of the egg white mixture and mix well, 
until a dough forms. Cover and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.


Place some parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle with powdered sugar,
then place the dough on top and shape into a ball, then slightly flatten it.


Sprinkle some more powdered sugar on top and place another piece of parchment on top.
Roll out to 1/4" thickness, then cut out star shapes; re-roll the dough, to cut out more
until it has been completely used.


Place on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet, then cover the top with the
reserved meringue mixture; as I said earlier, using a condiment bottle makes it very simple to decorate the tops of these cookies (and others).


 Continue until all the cookies are coated in meringue.


Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn off the oven, open the door slightly and
allow to dry out for another 10 minutes or so, before removing from the oven.

Place on cooling rack to cool completely.



Christmas tree in a building in downtown LA




10 comments:

  1. Have a fabulous time! Thank you for all the great recipes.

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  2. Those cookies look wonderful.
    Have a blast in Germany. Try to get to Rothenburg ob der Tauber for the best Christmas ornament shopping.
    http://www.germanyatchristmas.com/rothenburg-ob-der-tauber-christmas-on-the-romantic-road/

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    1. I've always wanted to go to Rothenburg, Cathy, in fact my travel agent highly suggested we go there on our honeymoon, but we couldn't go everywhere ;( I'll only be in Cologne this time, but I will get there one day!

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  3. Have your glasses of Gluhwein when you go to the Weihnachtsmarkt! Check out the Holzcraft (wooden carved ornaments and candle holders). Enjoy the Sandkeks and Pfeffernusse! Am besten Wünsche für eine gute Reise!

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    1. Wow, Susan!! Thank you for the great tips and best wishes (I had to use google translate, haha!) I was blown away by the photos of the Christmas markets in Cologne and we're staying near the cathedral, so I'm sure I'm going to love it! Hope I can take the cold weather after all these years in California! :)

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  4. Those are gorgeous cookies, have a wonderful time in Cologne. Happy Holidays!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you!! Merry Christmas!! :)

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  5. Amazing. I can't believe they're gluten free and paleo! The almond four is surprising in its performance--not flaky or nutty as I would expect, but chewy and sweet. This will be a new fave in our house for the holidays.

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    Replies
    1. I know! I thought the same thing, and as I don't like marzipan, I didn't think these would be something I'd love either, but I do! Not a strong almond flavor at all, and great to give as gifts to GF friends! So glad you like the recipe! CC

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Questions, comments? I'd love to hear from you!