When you see the first twinkle of stars in the night sky, the Yom Kippur fast is over.
You take your fist sips of that long awaited coffee, and with it …. Zimtsterne.
German star cookies. To remind you that we celebrate a new year, new beginnings, being with loved ones. Sweet. Lovely. Gluten-free too.
3 large egg whites
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
one pound finely chopped almonds or hazelnuts, approximately
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Beat the egg whites until they stand in soft peaks. Continue to beat the whites, gradually increasing the speed and gradually adding all the sugar and salt, for 6-8 minutes or until they whites stand in glossy, stiff peaks. Remove about 3/4 to one cup of this mixture to a small bowl and set it aside.**
In another bowl, combine the nuts, cinnamon and lemon peel. Fold the nut mixture into the egg white mixture in the bowl until it is uniform in color. Spoon the mixture onto parchment paper and flatten the “dough” sightly. Let stand for about 15 minutes. Place another piece of parchment paper on top. Roll the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Remove the top piece of parchment paper. One at a time, cut out star shapes from the dough (the dough is sticky and difficult to work with). Place each star on the parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
When all the stars are cut, use the reserved sugar mixture and spread on top of each star. Let rest for 60 minutes.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
Makes about 42
**you can skip this meringue coat and bake the cookies uncoated (in this case, do not set aside the 3/4 cup meringue. You might need about 1/2 cup more ground nuts to make the dough less sticky). When they are baked and cooled, mix about 1/2 cup confectioners sugar with enough water to make a paste and use a small spoon to cover the cookies with the sugar paste. Let dry and serve.