RECIPE: Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars)

Do you want to make some delicious winter baked goods? I think yes. I made these for the first time the other day, and they turned out PRETTY DELISH. This recipe is translated from a recipe on chefkoch.de, with a few additional notes.

EQUIPMENT:
a large bowl and a smaller bowl
also bowls for separating eggs, if you use bowls for that (if not, use any human hands you have available)
a scale
spoons and a whisk and maybe one of those icing brushes
a clean surface
a rolling pin
cookie cutters
an oven
baking sheets
approx. two human hands

INGREDIENTS:
500g ground almonds (it tastes nicer if you get ones with the skin still on and grind them yourself in a food processor or something, but whatever works for you)
300g icing sugar, plus some more for working
2 teaspoons cinnamon (or more if you REALLY LIKE cinnamon)
2 egg whites (I used 3 because it seemed a better mix. I guess the original recipe assumes large eggs)
2 tablespoons liqueur. I used rum and I used about 4 spoons of rum and you can barely even taste it, so use your own discretion
FOR ICING: 1 more egg white, and 125g icing sugar

WHAT TO DO:
1. Mix the almonds, icing sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Realise your normal baking bowl is too small for the massive volume taken up by 500g of almonds and 300g of sugar. Get a bigger bowl.

2. Now add egg whites and booze. Consider getting out a mixer & kneading attachments, but decide you’re too lazy and use hands instead. Mix until everything is a uniform consistency. Go wash your hands because they’re probably really sticky right now.

3. Pour some icing sugar onto a surface, because who needs flour. Go ahead and pour out a good-sized mountain. Place a portion of the dough on top and roll it out. Realise your mountain was not big enough and the dough is sticking to everything. Add more icing sugar until the dough behaves.

4. Find a star-shaped cookie cutter, or, if you’re a dweeb like me and planning to send these to friends, a heart shaped one. Cut the cookies. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you’ve used all your dough.

5. Oh, also preheat the oven to 160°C-ish. I started at 150° but then I turned it up because nothing was happening to the cookies in there and baking is weird and makes no sense.

6. Put the cookies on a baking sheet. Don’t bake them yet, just hold on to them for five minutes, geez.

7. Whip your last egg-white until it’s a stiff foam. Alternatively, have your mother wander by, take pity on your poor whipping technique, and do it in about a second.

8. Slowly add in the icing sugar. Seriously, do it slowly. If you add in too much at once it will explode in a cloud all over you when you try to continue whipping.

9. Spread the icing over the cookies. Do this neatly or everyone will comment on your laziness and you’ll be forced to threaten to withhold Zimtstern consumption privileges

10. Now you can put the cookies in the oven. Keep them in there for around 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your cookies. When the icing starts to go a bit brown they’re probably ok. They’ll still be really gooey at the end, and taste sickly sweet. Don’t worry, they’ll magically dry and become tasty as they cool, because baking is weird and makes no sense.

11. Congratulations, you made some cookies. Put them in a tin or something. Feed them to your friends and relatives. Withhold them from people who are rude to you. You’re allowed to do that when you make a thing.

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