Zimtsterne (German Cinnamon stars)

Cook time: 30 minutes
Prep. time: 20 minutes
Yields: 2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 15 oz sliced almonds, with skin (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Sift the confectioners’ sugar
  2. put 1/2 cup of the sifted confectioners’ sugar, 10 oz (3 heaping cups) of the almonds and all the cinnamon in a food processor. Process until the nuts are finely ground, with just a few large pieces.
  3. Whip the egg whites in a large, clean bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until they hold soft peaks, about 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining confectioners’ sugar while whipping until the whites are thick, creamy and somewhat stiff, about 2 minutes more. Set aside 2/3 cup of this meringue for topping the cookies.
  4. Fold the ground almond mixture and the lemon zest into the remaining meringue to make a stiff dough.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. Lay a sheet of parchment or waxed paper on the work surface and lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar. Turn the dough out onto the dusted paper, flatten and dust with moresugar as needed, and then lay another sheet of parchment or waxed paper on top. Roll the dough between the papers until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Flip the dough over and gently peel off a sheet of the paper. For ease when cutting, lay the paper back on the dough, flip again and gently pull off the other side of the paper so that the dough is fully released from it.
  7. Cut cookies with a 3-inch star cutter and place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. (excess dough can be re-rolled.) Use a small spoon, brush or offset spatula to spread the reserved meringue over the top of each cookie, taking care not to let the meringue drip over the sides. Press or sprinkle remaining sliced almonds in a decorative pattern into the meringue.
  8. Bake cookies until bottoms are light brown and meringue is set and crisp, about 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the oven door to release heat and dry cookies out in the oven for 10 more minutes.

*The dough can be frozen between the sheets of paper for up to 2 weeks, Store baked cookies in an airtight container.

~Recipe via foodnetwork.com

Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Baking Chips, for melting into the cookie dough
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Baking Chips, for mixing into the prepared cookie dough
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse sea salt, or as needed

Directions:

  1. In a heatproof bowl over a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Turn off the stove and let chocolate sit over warm water.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. In another bowl, mix together sugar and eggs, combine throughly with whisk and slowly add the warm chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. Add vanilla extract and mox. Stir in flour mixture. Cool for a few minutes (if batter is warm, chocolate chips will melt). Stir in chocolate chips. Chill for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Scoop rounded tablespoons of batter and place on baking tray. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with a pinch of sea salt. Baking at 350°F for approximately 7-8 minutes until the outside looks slightly cracked. Be very careful not to over bake cookies because they will continue to bake as they cool once removed from the oven. Cookies should be soft and gooey in the center.

~recipe from allrecipes.com

Peanut Butter Cookies (Flour-less)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. 
  3. Make walnut sized bowls of the dough (about a Tablespoon measure) and place on lined baking sheet.
  4. Cook for 9 minutes.
  5. Press each cookie down with fork and bake 1 minute longer.
  6. Let cook slightly on baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack.

~Recipe from Jana