About the Recipe
If you are looking for Christmas in a cookie, look no further. These Swiss cinnamon star cookies look and taste like the holidays. Zimptstern are a classic. They will be a part of every Swiss persons Christmas cookie spread. I love how everyone has their own family recipe which varies slightly from everyone else's. Whether it is using both ground almonds and hazelnuts, whether you glaze them before or after baking, kirsch or no kirsch, the base of each recipe is the same.
The almond flour and egg whites give them a nice dense chewy meringue-like texture and the cinnamon and sugar transform them into Christmas bliss.
500g almond flour (ground almonds)
400g powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
3 egg whites
3/4 Tablespoon lemon juice
200g powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 Teaspoons water
In a large bowl mix together the almond flour, powdered sugar and cinnamon. In a secondary bowl, softly beat egg whites together. Add the softly beaten egg whites to the almond mixture with the lemon juice. Combine until you have formed the dough.
As those who follow my recipes know, when working with dough, I like to get in there with my hands. I feel I have more control and can get a sense of where the dough is going. This particular dough may seem slightly crumbly when you first start mixing it together, just from the nature of the almond flour. But not to worry, keep kneading and it will all come together nicely.
Once you have the dough formed it is time to roll it out.
In order for the dough not to stick to the work surface or rolling pin, lightly dust both with some powdered sugar. Roll out the dough so that it is approximately 5mm thick. (I usually work the dough in small batches, taking about a third of the dough at a time. I find it easier and more controlled to do it in this way).
Once your dough is evenly rolled out, stamp out your stars with your cookie cutter.
You'll see that while you roll out your dough, it may still seem a bit more crumbly than your traditional cookie dough, but trust the process, even if there are little cracks throughout the dough, if you keep working it with your hands, you'll get it to stick together.
Preheat your oven to 400F.
Place all your little stars on a lined baking sheet. (They can be nestled closely together as they will not grow during the baking process).
Bake for 5-7 minutes or until bottoms are lightly golden in color.
Let cookies cool completely before adding the glaze.
Making the glaze:
Add confectioners sugar, lemon juice and water to a small bowl. Mix together until you have a smooth runny texture. If you prefer a thicker glaze, add in more confectioner sugar. If you like it runnier, add in some more lemon juice or water. Just make sure to add a little at a time, for it does not take a lot to get it to be more liquidy.
Using a pastry brush, paint the tops of each star with a thin layer of lemony glaze.
Let the glaze dry before serving or storing them in an airtight container. For best taste and texture, consume within 5 days of making them.