It smells delicious after cinnamon and vanilla

Although I was born and grew up in Poland, I have lived 13 years in Germany before I moved to the US and therefore there is simply no Christmas for me without German cookies.

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Each year I bake a variety of German Christmas cookies. Zimtsterne and Vanillekipferl always make the cut.

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Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)

  • Servings: 40 pieces/servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 250g of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 packet (=1 tablespoon) of vanilla sugar
  • 1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • about 400 g of hazelnut flour
Also

Confectioners sugar for dusting

Preparation

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 140°C/285°F.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer at the highest speed until so stiff that you can cut through with a knife. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and gradually fold into the whipped egg whites. Put 2 heaping tablespoons of the mixture aside for brushing the cookies.
  3. Using the hand mixer at the lowest speed, stir in gently vanilla sugar, cinnamon and about 150g of the hazelnut flour. Continue by kneading the dough with a hand and adding as much of the remaining hazelnut flour as possible, until the dough is only slightly sticky.
  4. Dust your workspace with confectioners’ sugar and roll out the dough about 1/2 cm thick. Cut out the stars, place on the baking tray and brush with the whipped egg whites. If the mixture is to thick to be spread smoothly on the cookies, add a few drops of water.
  5. Bake the cookies for about 25 minutes. Prepare the remaining cookies as described and place them on parchment paper.
  6. Pull the baked cookies with the parchment paper onto a cooling rack. The cookies are baked when they are still soft on the underside when taken out of the oven. Pull the prepared cinnamon stars with the parchment paper onto the baking tray, bake and let cool down.

Tip:

  • It is easier to cut out the cookies if you dip the cookie cutter in water.
  • Store in an air-tight container.
  • When whisking egg whites make sure that there is absolutely no trace of egg yolk in the egg whites.

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Vanillekipferl

  • Servings: about 90 pieces/cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 Ingredients

  • 250g of plain wheat flour
  • a trace of baking powder (just enough to fit on the point of a knife)
  • 125g of sugar
  • the scraped pulp of 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 200g of cold butter
  • 125g of almond flour
Additionally
  • about 50 g of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar

Preparation

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Combine flour with baking powder. Add the remaining ingredients and mix everything with an electric mixer, first briefly at the lowest speed, then at maximum speed until all ingredients are combined. Continue by kneading the dough with a hand until smooth and elastic, then shape it into a ball.
  3.  Shape pencil-thick rolls out of the dough, cut them into 5-6 cm long pieces then shape each piece into a crescent and place on a lined baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare the remaining Kipferl as described and place on parchment paper.
  5. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl and combine with vanilla sugar. Pull the baked Vanillekipferl with the parchment paper from the baking tray onto a cooling rack. While still warm, sprinkle the cookies with the sugar mixture.
  6. Pull the prepared Kipferl with the parchment paper onto the baking tray, bake and sprinkle with sugar.

Store in an air-tight container.

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My little helpers at work

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