My third batch of Christmas cookies is done – cinnamon stars, traditional ones this time. Since I discovered this recipe three years ago, I love making these. Unfortunately I cannot remember which magazine it is from.
All my previous recipes left me with extremely sticky dough, hands, and work surface, and therefore in a bad mood. Which you do not want to be in either during or because of Christmas baking. Although I must say that I found myself in a not too Christmassy mood today – it might be due to the weather, all the snow is gone again, it’s been raining for days, and the Christmas music I intended to listen to during baking just grated on my nerves. So I put on some Three Days Grace, which gave me exactly the motivation I needed to do some serious baking.
3 egg whites
300 g icing sugar
1 packet (8 g) bourbon vanilla sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cardamom
350 – 400 g ground almonds
[1 egg white + 100 g icing sugar – see comment below]
Beat egg whites until very firm. Sieve icing sugar and add to the egg whites by the tablespoonful. Put aside 3 tbsp of the mixture for icing. [This is where the extra egg white + 100 g icing sugar come in. The 3 tbsp of icing which the original recipe mentions will never be enough for the amount of cookies – about 50 – this dough makes. I use the complete mixture for the dough, and beat 1 more egg white, adding 100 g of icing sugar to use for icing.]
Add vanilla sugar, cinnamon and cardamom – here I also use more than the recipe states, 1 level tsp instead of a pinch – and the ground almonds, and stir until the dough is no longer very sticky. It will stay a little sticky, but not very. Roll out dough between two sheets of cut-up freezer bags until it’s about 1 cm / ½ in thick. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 130ºC / 270ºF (100ºC / 210ºF in a fan oven). Cut out star shapes from the dough, put them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, spread icing on the star shapes, then bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 100ºC / 210ºF (80ºC / 175ºF in a fan oven) and bake for another 15 minutes. Pull the whole sheet of baking paper including the cookies from the baking sheet and let cool.
I’m sure I’ll be making another batch of these soon, as they always go like hot cakes…