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When in Berlin…Bake Some Cinnamon Stars

I have always enjoyed being in Germany in the weeks leading up to Christmas – the Germans (like the Poles) know how to make Christmas time special. The German Advent is particularly aromatic – ginger, cinnamon and cloves are necessary ingredients in just about every dish or drink.

Christmas preparations are even more ever present now that Kasper has started attending a German kindergarten. Children have been busy making Christmas decorations and art and we are looking forward to the little Weihnachtsparty held this week.

All parents were requested to contribute some Christmas dish and being one of the last people to sign the list I was left with no choice but to make Zimtsterne – cinnamon stars. I have been slightly worried about my culinary début as a kindergarten Mum especially with a range of dishes which are not part of my usual Christmas repertoire, so I have done a lot of internet research to find a good recipe. I have to say the stars I produced came out beautifully (beginner’s luck?) and so I decided to share this one with you all.

The recipe comes from a German site Chefkoch.de, here I provide the English translation. There are many variations of this and each one will have tens of comments offering personal variations, recommendations and tricks – but please ignore them all – just follow this – this is the easiest, quickest and, in my experience, a very delicious recipe that works.

PASTRY:

500g ground almonds
300g icing sugar
2 tbs ground cinnamon
2 tbs lemon juice
2 egg whites

ICING:

1 egg white
125g icing sugar

Preparation:

Mix in a bowl ground almonds, icing sugar and cinnamon. Add egg whites (as they are – not whipped – I think this is the secret of this recipe and prevents the biscuits from going stone hard) and lemon juice and mix using dough hooks. Finish kneading the mixture by hand to a sticky pastry. Roll out the pastry to about 1cm thickness and cut out the star shapes and place them on a baking tray.

You can decorate them with sliced almonds or a sprinkling of brown sugar. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 150 degrees. Voilà!

German Cinnamon Stars - Zimtsterne

If you have any suggestions for how to use the remaining three egg yolks – please write in comments! This time round, I was spared all the trouble as Kasper decided that they would look nice spread on the kitchen floor…







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