When I did the blog post for 'thru the red door..' the other day, I promised I would share the recipe for the German Cinnamon Star cookies that I make every year. There are certain foods that are part of our family christmas, without which, well, it just wouldn't seem like christmas at all.
Christmas at a house in the country is all about tradition, the things that I grew up with, the things that we have done over the years as a family and the new traditions too. As each generation grows and does things differently, so these too become a tradition...
We have a few nationalities in our family now, you know of course that I was born and raised in Great Britain and came here with my family as a 19 year old, the railway man too was born in England but came here as a two year old. Our children were all born here and are proud true blue Aussies, beyond them we have eight second generation Aussies in our grandchildren. Our son-in-law is English too, then we have our future daughter-in-law Annie, she's Greek by birth and a proud Australian and she and our youngest, Chris, are being married in February. Now of course we have a new family member this year. Matthew is American and he and Sarah are getting married in March, he's still coming to terms with wearing T shirts and shorts in December, you can't do that in Minneapolis...:o)
Having this tiny melting pot within our home has brought different traditions and food to our celebrations so we're creating new family traditions which are a mix of all of us... I'm not quite sure where my German Cinnamon Star cookies come into this mix, but we have had them every year for the past ten years or so, they do take a little time and patience but they are well worth it and they are delicious...
Gather together for the cookie base.......
200g plain flour
480g ground almonds
390g caster sugar
320g icing sugar
15g ground cinnamon
5 x 60g egg whites
For the royal icing.....
1-2 egg whites, at room temperature
350g icing sugar
1-2 drops acetic acid or lemon juice
make the royal icing first by putting the egg whites in a small bowl. Add 2 spoonfuls of the icing sugar and beat for 2 mins by hand or until the mixture is combined. Stir in the acetic acid or lemon juice a drop at a time, beating well after each addition. Add enough icing sugar to reach a 'soft peak' stage. Don't overly fuss with the royal icing, it's going to be cooked....yep, cooked! Cover with a damp cloth and set aside.
Line baking trays with baking paper. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until a solid dough begins to form.
If the mix is too dry add some more egg white and if it's too moist add extra icing sugar.
Remove from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to approx 1cm (1/2") thickness.
Spread royal icing over the rolled base and put in the 'fridge for an hour to harden both the dough and royal icing.
Preheat oven to 180c (350F). Using a floured star cooker (or any shape you want really) cut out stars and place on prepared cookie tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 mins or until the icing begins to turn a golden brown.
Now you end up with this left...
..don't waste it, I just put it on a tray and cook it, the kids love the little squiggly bits, they taste exactly the same....
These are just delightful, a delicious hint of cinnamon with a soft and chewy almond base and a sweet, crisp, crunchy icing topping....