A very traditional German Christmas cookie, made from icing sugar, almonds and egg whites. We use an insane amount of egg yolks for our Christmas butter cookies, so the two recipes are often prepared at the same time. —Ginger
Grind the whole almonds to a fine powder. Don't be tempted to buy ground almonds as you will be loosing out on the rich and earthy flavour of the whole almonds!
Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Sift the icing sugar onto the whites and stir to dissolve all lumps. Add the lemon zest and 1/2 of the lemon juice.
Mix 2/3 of the icing with the ground almonds and the cinnamon, leaving the rest to decorate the stars. The mix will be quite soft and sticky, which is how it is meant to be.
Prepare 2 or 3 baking trays with parchment paper. Sprinkle some of the caster sugar onto your work surface and roll out small portions of the almond mix to a thickness of 1 cm or 1/2 inch. The sugar will prevent it from sticking onto the surface, as well as onto your rolling pin and your cutter. Use it like you would use flour - trust me, it works! Place the cut out stars on the parchment, perhaps using a palette knife or similar. You can place them quite close to one another as they will not expand. Leave them to dry out for around an hour.
Preheat your oven to 160C. Decorate the stars with the remaining icing mix, adding the remaining lemon juice, if necessary, and bake them- or rather dry them - for around 20 minutes or until the icing is beginning to turn yellow.
They will be quite soft in the middle so give them time to cool down before moving them on to a wire rack or similar. They can be stored for up to 3 or 4 weeks in an air-tight box or a tin. We traditionally prepare them at the end of November and keep nibbling away at them for the whole of the Christmas period. If they last that long.