Nov 2, 2010

Christmas is around the corner!

In less than two months we celebrate my favourite celebration.  Christmas has always been an important time for our family.  Planning and preparations start long in advance and much effort is put into gifts and baked goods to let those that are special to us know just how special they are.

To help you with your preparations, for the month of November, i will be blogging all things Christmassy - loads of Christmas bakes, recipe books to add to your Christmas wishlist, interesting ways to decorate your feast table etc.  

I will start off with my absolute favourite part of Christmas: Zimtsterne!!  

These are nutty (read: gluten-free), scrumptious, taste-of-Christmas biscuits that i have been baking with my maternal grandmother since i can remember.  They are soo more-ish, that i always make sure to bake extra so that i can eat them long after Christmas too.  I thought long and hard about whether i should share this recipe with you or not.  I do like to keep a few family secrets, but, as they say: pleasure shared, is pleasure doubled! I hope that you will find these Christmas cookies as irresistible as i do! 

Zimtsterne (or cinnamon stars)
3 egg whites
250 g icing sugar, sifted
350 g ground nuts (we mix half and half almonds and hazelnuts)
2 t ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat to stiff peaks.  Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until well combined.  Reserve three tablespoons of this mixture for the 'topping'.  Add the cinnamon and ground nuts to the egg white mixture and stir until you have a kneadable dough.  Sift icing sugar over your working area and roll the dough out to a thickness of approx 1/2 cm.  With a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut stars out of the dough and place on a baking tray lined with wax paper and icing sugar.  Use the reserved egg white mixture to top the stars.  Bake in an oven preheated to 140 degrees Celsius for 30 - 40 min.

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