Tuesday, December 6, 2011

German Cinnamon Star Cookies

Imagine a bakery in a train station in Munich. Among the exquisite desserts is a star: chopped nuts nestled inside a warm, soft braid. (I tried a slovenian recipe for potica which I thought was similar, but it didn´t work out well that first time). While I have yet to find the recipe for it, I do have a recipe for German Zimsterne, a Christmas classic.
The cookies are simple and flavorful, thanks to the cinnamon (valuable in the 1600´s) and nuts (almonds in the original recipe, also special treats reserved mostly for Christmastime). They were traditionally served at the first meal after Yom Kippur, which explains the six-pointed star (mine were 5-pointed because I didn´t know). These treats are slightly chewy and soft at the same time, which makes them addictive.
Here is an authentic recipe, (http://mybestgermanrecipes.com/2010/11/19/german-cinnamon-stars/ or http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/German-Cinnamon-Stars-Zimtsterne-103995) though the version I made was an easier adapted version from my Betty Crocker´s Christmas Cookbook. I shall have to try the original version sometime when I feel like grinding almonds, and if I ever get a 6-pointed star cutter.

Now that I´ve been madly baking Christmas cookies (including the cookie house you can see below), I shall have to start making the candies....
Do you have a favorite age-old Christmas cookie from another country?

http://www.germanfoods.org/consumer/facts/guidetocookies.cfm  This website tells you lots of interesting facts, such as: gummi bears were invented in Bonn, in 1922, by the owner of Haribo.
http://moveablefeastscookbook.blogspot.com/2010/11/zimsterne-twelve-weeks-of-christmas.html This gave me the best information on the history of the cookie.

No comments: