Monday, December 16, 2013

Snow-flake zimtsterne:: Preparing for Christmas german style

It's advent again that wonderful time of the year when we prepare ourselves for the approaching holiday season. I have never been a big one for advent calendars, we used to get one when we were children but usually something vaguely religious and rarely with chocolate or sweets. None-the-less I thoroughly enjoy this time of year. I revel in the traditions and preparations for the holiday season.





It also means the end of year in work and college terms and that also means that it's an extremely busy time of year which explains my missed post last week. Amidst all of this craziness of deadlines, pressures and shopping there are precious moments that must not be missed. The afternoon or evening that you spend setting up the tree, wrapping the carefully chosen presents, writing the Christmas cards and, my personal favourite, preparing the delicious Christmas treats.


This year I wanted to partake in the wonderful tradition of Christmas cookies and if you are gonna make Christmas cookies, it is imperative to make German Christmas cookies. I was introduced to the concept of these amazing cookies from a friend who was born in Germany and whose mother made these amazing cookies every year. However it wasn't until I was living in France that I got the chance to experience the advent tradition and absolutely loved it, four weeks of cookies and mini parties in the run down to Christmas, that combined with getting their gifts the night before everyone else and I'm pretty sure the Germans do Christmas better than anyone else.


Well I'm not certain that traditionalist would approve of my changing the shape but you will note that these Zimtsterne cookies still contain the classic star shape but now at the center of a beautiful snowflake. Here's how they are made.

Zimtsterne Snow-Flake Cookies

300g Ground Almonds
Zest of one lemon
3 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
200g Icing Sugar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt

You will need: Tala snowflake cookie cutters, piping bag, whisk, greaseproof paper and cookie sheet.

1. Mix together your ground almonds, lemon zest and spices.

2. In an electric mixer, or by hand, beat your egg whites and pinch of salt until firm peaks have
    formed.

3. Gradually add your icing sugar until you have a thick, smooth
    mixture.

4. Portion off a third of this into a piping bag and then add your
    almond mixture to the rest.

5. Thoroughly mix the dough and then roll it out between two
     pieces of greaseproof paper to a thickness of c 1cm.


6. Chill the cookie mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then
     preheat your oven to 140'/275'F/Gas mark 1.

7. Sprinkle the top with more icing sugar and pour some icing
     sugar into a ramekin to dust the cutter. Then press the cookie
     cutter straight down, remove and push the cookies out onto the
     sheet.



8. Take the piping bag and cut off a very small tip and carefully pipe the meringue over the star part
    of the cookies.






9. Now bake your cookies for 15-20 minutes but keep a close eye on them to ensure that the
    meringue doesn't start to brown. Then you can give a final sprinkle of icing sugar to any that need
    it and enjoy =)

Be honest, you want a bite, right?



4 comments:

  1. this sounds like a great recipe and they are lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Dina, I was admiring the Strufoli Balls you put up on your blog, they look really delicious =)

      Delete
  2. Looks yum and a little healthy treat! I'm all for that in January :)

    ReplyDelete

So.........that went well......but I'm back with a bang!

At the start of the year I said that I would try to post more regularly and......yeah....that didn't happen =/ Finishing this doctorat...