December 19, 2013

German cinnamon stars

Stack of German Cinnamon Star cookies.

I guess I'm a little behind this year when it comes to cookie baking. I have my list ready of the ones I want to make and these German cinnamon stars (Zimtsterne) were at the top. 

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I found them in The German Cookbook and when I did a little research, it looks like they are very popular in Germany. These cookies only use a few ingredients and are gluten-free and don't contain any butter. About halfway through the process, I really thought I was going to be throwing away the batter, because it just wasn't coming together. I kept adding more and more almond meal and it was still too sticky. Just when I was about to give up, I added another 1/4 cup and the dough came together. I had to adjust the cooking time because they were getting too dark. However, once I worked out all the bugs, they turned out to be some neat cookies. If you like meringue, you will like these as each cookie is spread with a meringue topping before baking. The topping comes out crisp with a chewy cookie. 

All in all, I don't think I'll be adding these to my regular Christmas baking rotation, but every few years, I will make these. My adapted recipe is below and it will make about 30 cookies using about a 3-inch star cookie cutter.

Top view of German cinnamon star cookies.

German cinnamon stars
3 large egg whites
2 cups icing sugar
2-1/4 - 3 cups almond flour/meal
pinch of fine sea salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer. When they begin to turn foamy, gradually beat in the icing sugar. Continue beating until the mixture forms very stiff peaks (This will take a while, but it will happen). Set aside 1/2 cup of the meringue.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour starting with 2 cups, salt, and cinnamon. Then sprinkle it into the meringue mixture. Stir together until combined. If the dough is still sticky, stir in more almond flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough it heavy, fairly solid, and holds it shape.

Roll out about 1/4 of the dough at a time placing it between two pieces of parchment (dust with some more almond flour, if needed) to 1/4" thickness. Cut into star shapes and transfer to the baking sheets placing the cookies about 1/2" apart. 

Spread a thin layer of the reserved meringue onto each cookie before baking. Bake for about 13-15 minutes, until the bottoms and sides are lightly golden and the meringue is firm, but not colored. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough and store the cooled cookies in an airtight container.

Baked German cinnamon star cookies.


  1. Stressful cookies are the worst! But at least they were tasty.

  2. Hi Amy, your cinnamon star look addictive and delicious. Very nice and cute.

    Have a nice week ahead.

  3. Thank goodness they turned out after all! They're gorgeous, and I bet they must've smelled awesome while baking.

  4. I like the short and gluten-free ingredient list. I'm glad they worked out!

  5. These look delicious AND festive, and held their shape well after baking! Well done :)

  6. It is always fun to add new things to your repertoire. Trying them is part of the process. These look like good ones to try! thanks, Amy!

  7. These cinnamon stars are the perfect Christmas cookies. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  8. Wow. These look wonderful! I love cinnamon. We need to try these - thanks.

  9. Super cute and I bet they're tasty too!


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