Christmas · Desserts · Germany

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.

Each year I bake between 8 and 12 varieties. That depends on how much time I have beside household and the children ;).

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In the Advent season, I give a large part of my home made Christmas cookies to family, friends and neighbors.

Two recipes are always included: Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars) and Vanillekipferl (vanilla cookies). Two classics of the German Christmas bakery.

My Baisers can also be an excellent addition for your Christmas cookie plate.

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Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)

  • Servings: 40 pieces/servings
  • Time: 60 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 250 g powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar
  • 1 level teespoon ground cinnamon
  • about 400 g hazelnut meal/flour
Also

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preparation

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius / 285 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. For the dough, whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer at the highest level until so stiff that a knife cut remains visible. Sift the powedered sugar and gradually fold into the whipped egg whites. For glazing the cookies, put 2 heaping tablespoons of the mixture aside.
  3. With the handmixer at the lowest level stir in gently vanilla sugar, cinnamon and about 150 g of the hazelnut meal/flour. Continue by kneading the dough with hands and adding as much of the remaining hazelnut meal as possible, until the dough hardly sticks.
  4. Dust your work space with icing sugar and roll out the dough about 1/2 cm thick. With a cookie cutter cut out the stars, place them on the baking tray and with a brush coat with the whipped egg whites set aside. If the mixture is to thick to be spread smoothly on the cookies, add a few drops of water.
  5. Put the baking tray into the preheated oven. Bake the cinnamon stars for about 25 minutes. Prepare the remaining cookies as described and place them on baking paper.
  6. Pull the baked cookies with the baking 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 baking 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 each time.

Zimtsterne remain fresh when stored in well-closing  cans.

For beating the egg whites, bowl and whisks must be absolutely free from grease and there must be no trace of egg yolk in the egg whites.

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Vanillekipferl

  • Servings: about 90 pieces/cookies
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 Ingredients

  • 250 g all purpose flour
  • a trace of baking powder (just enough to fit on the point of a knife)
  • 125 g sugar
  • scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 200 g cold butter
  • 125 g of almond meal/flour
Aditionally
  • about 50 g of icing sugar
  • 1 paket vanilla sugar

Preparation

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 356 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. For the dough mix the flour with baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix everything with a hand mixer with kneading hooks, first briefly at the lowest level, then at the highest level
    For the dough mix flour with baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients for the dough and mix everything with a hand mixer with kneading hooks, first briefly at the lowest, then at the highest level, into a dough. Continue working the dough with your hands, until you have a smooth dough and shape it into a ball.
  3. From the dough, shape pencil-thick rolls, cut them into 5-6 cm long pieces, roll the ends slightly thinner, bent into a croissant and place them on the baking sheet. Put the baking tray in the preheated oven and bake the cookies for about 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare the remaining Kipferl as described and place on baking paper.
  5. Sift icing sugar into a bowl and mix it with the vanilla sugar. Pull the baked Vanillekipferl with the baking paper from the baking tray onto a cooling rack. While the cookies are still warm dust them with the icing and vanilla sugar mixture. Pull the prepared Kipferl with the baking paper on the baking tray, bake and powder with sugar.

Best way to store Vanillekipferl is a well-closing cookie can.

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My little helpers at work
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