I can’t quite believe that it’ll be the 2nd of Advent tomorrow already. We just got back from a Holiday party and we’re probably going to go out and get our Christmas tree in the morning. Tahoe has had another load of snow, so some more skiing is most likely on the agenda, and I haven’t bought the kids their Christmas gifts yet. Then there is the Christmas letter to write to email to all and, and, and. I do love this time of year, but it’s no wonder that people are so ready to do nothing more than eat and flop once Christmas actually gets here.
The big freeze seems to be thawing somewhat back in the U.K. and there is always the British humor to save the day. One of the number one stories on the BBC News website today is about a lady who had her snowman stolen from her front garden and called the emergency police line to report it. This story simply has to be read for its amuzement factor. Brilliant.
The book fair at C’s school is about to kick off on Monday. I helped set up today and got a bit caught up in all of the great books there. Was pleased to see Silvana Nardone’s, Cooking for Isaiah there. Great to see strong voices from the world of gluten free cooking and baking entering the mainstream.
Amongst all of this business, the gluten free Advents cookie baking continues at chez g-free mom. My favorite Advents cookies as a child, and – as I realized this week – still to this day, are Zimtsterne (or cinnamon stars). They have a lovely chewy texture with a bit of a crunch from the icing. They then melt in the mouth as you’re eating and they are so moreish that I could eat more of these than any other cookie. Full stop. The proof of the pudding as to how fabulous they are is when I find my boys trying to sneak some into their mouths before breakfast today and I realize that the stash that I baked yesterday is already quickly diminishing. The process of making them is not a speedy one, but believe me, it is worth it!
Here’s how they are made (this makes a lot of cookies, but given the effort it’s definitely worth making more than less):
- 3 egg whites
- A pinch of salt
- 9 oz/250g of confectioner’s sugar
- 1½ tablespoons of cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 28 oz/800g of almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
- Beat the egg white and salt in a bowl until it is stiff.
- Add confectioner’s sugar and stir until ingredients are mixed well. Put just under a half a cup aside for the frosting.
- Add cinnamon, lemon juice and the almond flour. Knead to a soft dough. If the dough is too sticky, add more almond flour. If it is to crumbly, add a little more lemon juice.
- Roll out the dough on a flat surface, dusted with confectioner’s sugar, approximately 0.3 inches/7mm thick. Use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut out the stars. Keep dipping it in a bowl of hot water, if it gets sticky. Cut the stars close to one another. Roll out the scraps to make more stars and keep going until all dough is used.
- Lift the stars onto baking trays covered in parchment paper with a clean knife. Dip the knife in hot water to clean it off, as it gets sticky from the dough.
- Let them rest for about 5 to 6 hours or overnight in a dry place.
- Carefully sweep the cookies with the frosting set aside in step 2. (you will need to stir it first)
- Bake for about 3 to 5 minutes in the center of a pre-heated oven at 480°F / 250°C.
- Let the cinnamon stars cool completely before serving.
There are a ton more cookie recipes to be found over at She let them eat cake’s blog too. Click here to get to Maggie’s great round-up.