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- 2¾ cup unblanched almonds, finely ground
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons (½ lemon) freshly grated lemon zest
- 4 large eggs whites
- 1/16 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
- ¾ to 1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
- ½ cup reserved egg white mixture
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground almonds, cinnamon, and lemon zest; whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In top of a double boiler, combine egg whites, salt, and lemon juice. Beat until frothy with a hand-held electric mixer. Add powdered sugar and beat until well blended. Place pan over simmering water (the upper pan should not touch the water.) Cook, beating constantly with mixer on high speed, about 6 to 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Remove from heat.Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
- Remove ½ cup of the egg white mixture and set aside in a small bowl for the glaze.
- Using a large rubber spatula, fold the almond mixture into the remaining egg white mixture. Let mixture cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour to room temperature.
- Turn dough onto a pastry mat or pastry board that has been heavily dusted with powdered sugar. Knead ½ cup powdered sugar into the dough. Knead additional powdered sugar into dough if necessary to make dough stiff enough to handle and roll out.
- Sprinkle the work surface with more of the powdered sugar. Using a powdered sugar dusted rolling pin, roll dough to a ¼ inch thickness, dusting rolling pin frequently with powdered sugar and lifting the dough several times and sprinkling powdered sugar underneath the dough as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Cut dough into star shapes using a 2 inch star cookie cutter that has been dipped in powdered sugar (to help prevent dough from sticking to the cutter.) Reroll scraps and continue rolling and cutting out cookies until all the dough is used.
- Stir lemon juice into reserved egg white mixture to make glaze a good spreading consistency. Spread glaze over the stars in a smooth, even, thin layer; a small artist paintbrush works well for spreading the glaze.
- Bake: Bake 15 to 20 minutes or just until cookies are firm or the glaze is just beginning to get a tinge of brown. Be careful not to overbrown the glaze as you will lose the white topped look. Remove from oven and immediately remove cookies from baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on a wire cooling rack to cool.
Wolter, Annette, Teubner, Christian, Best of Baking, Fisher Publishing, 1980