as my granny used to say: you have to die of some
thing, after all.
So why not make that something delicious?
I made cinnamon stars on Sunday. They are propably the most popular cookies in Germany. A christmas without them is unthinkable.
4 egg whites
Juice of 1 lemon
300 g (2/3 lbs) icing sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
300-350 g (2/3 -3/4 lbs) ground hazelnuts
+ another 200 g (1/2 lbs) ground hazelnuts for the table.
beat the egg whites very stiff, gradually adding the lemon juice and sugar.
Put aside a good 1/4 of the mixture for icing.
Mix the remainder with the cinnamon and stir in the nuts.
The dough should be soft but solid enough to roll it out. If it is too soft, just add more nuts.
Dust a table or a big wooden board with ground hazelnuts and roll the dough out on them. It should be a good 5 mm (1/5 inch) thick.
Cut out small stars with a cookie cutter and place them on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.
You can easily knead the leftovers together and roll them out on ground nuts again and again. The last batch gets a littly drier than the first, but that doesn't matter, except that they'll take slightly shorter to bake. Later, they'll get just as juicy as the others.
Spread the egg white mixture you set aside on the cookies.
Bake at very low heat (130-150°C / 270-300°F) for 30 minutes. The icing shold stay white.
The cookies are soft as long as they are warm and will turn hard as stone after a day. Don't worry, that's perfectly ok. They'll soften again after 2-3 weeks.
They keep up to a year if you store them in a container with a tight fitting lid.
The dough is rather sticky and therefore many people are scared of making them but if you use ground nuts to roll out the dough, they are really easy. Don't use flour for rolling them out. It'll make the cookies very dry and they won't soften properly.
As these cookies get soft after 2-3 weeks, you must make them well in advance. Propably the biggest problem is where to hide them from your family for that long a time