Cinnamon Stars are made with egg whites, and ground almond dough that is rolled and cutout with a star-shaped cookie cutter. The taste and texture of these delightful little stars will remind you of an almond macaroon, with a wonderful cinnamon flavor and just the barest hint of lemon. After rolling and cutting the cookies, some of the reserved egg white mixture is spread over the tops, creating a white topped star. For those on special diets, these cookies are both dairy free and flour/gluten free
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
Tip: Use a citrus zester and citrus juicer for fresh zest and freshly squeezed 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.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare 2 large baking sheets in one of 2 ways. Either line with parchment paper to keep the cookies gluten/flour free and to prevent the cookies from sticking to the pan. Or grease and flour the pans to keep the cookies from sticking.
- 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 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.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
Adapted From: Baggett, Nancy, The International Cookie Cookbook, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York, 1988,
Wolter, Annette, Teubner, Christian, Best of Baking, Fisher Publishing, 1980
Description: Cutout Cookies
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets
Oven Temp: 375o
Prep Time: 2 Hours
Baking Time: 15 to 20 Minutes
Yield: 4 Dozen
Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature
Recipe Type: Cookie, Almonds, Cinnamon, Dairy Free, Gluten free, Christmas
Help: Cookie Hints
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