These little cookies are the third in the mini-series “Winter of Discontent”; snow-ish cookies. OK, ok, you’re going to have to use your imagination a little bit because I know that they are stars, not snowflakes. I tried to use my snowflake cookie cutters, but they were just too fine and delicate, and the dough kept getting stuck. Because these don’t use wheat flour (are GF), the almond and hazelnut flour are just too sticky for the intricate cutters.
Anyway, these Cinnamon “Snowflakes” are based on the German Christmas cookie “Zimtsterne” (Cinnamon Stars). They are very common and actually quite easy to make. Just egg whites, ground nuts, powdered sugar and cinnamon. Great for Christmas — or hey, snowflakes in February too.
300 grams finely ground almonds (almond meal)
200 grams finely ground hazelnuts (hazelnut meal)
5 egg whites
450 grams confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
In the work bowl of your stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Carefully fold in half of the confectioners’ sugar. Once fully incorporated, reserve 1 cup of the meringue in a bowl in the refrigerator for the glaze. Fold in the remaining confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon. Then, stir in the almond and hazelnut meals. The dough will be very sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat oven to 325F. Line cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
Roll your dough out between two pieces of wax paper. Cut out with snowflake-shaped cookie cutter and place on the prepared cookie sheets. Silpat or parchment paper is almost imperative in this recipe.
Take the reserve meringue and using a small pastry brush, liberally “paint” each of the cookies with the sugar coating. Bake 14-16 minutes or until the white snowflakes are just a little bit toasted. Let cool on wire racks.