I can’t believe it is this time of the year again. Not too long ago I packed all my Christmas decoration away – it seems. Well, I think Christmas is the best time of the year. Beautiful childhood memories reminding me of the Christmas Holiday preparation.
Grandma’s Cinnamon Stars Were The Best
Just the smell of freshly baked cinnamon stars reminds me of my Grandmother baking during the Holidays. There was something magical to it. I was fortunate to have spent a lot of time with my Grandma watching her baking Christmas cookies, that is cinnamon stars in particular. I was just 7 or 8 years old, probably too young to understand the relevance and importance of a recipe. However, what I do remember is she never had one.
Not even a scale she had. Now – remember this is in Germany where we only work with grams and kilo. We don’t even work with cup measurements. However, today it is simply unthinkable not having a scale – nonetheless a recipe. Even to this day – not even my Mother – could really tell what the exact ingredients were. That is, for my favorite “cinnamon stars”, next to many other cookies, cakes, roasts and other good Grandma delicatessen. Although she did emphasized that lots of butter is always a good thing. And she was right, just as Julia Child said, butter is flavor.
One thing is sure, the flavor of these Christmas cookies were incredible. To be quite honest there are probably better cookie recipes out there, but you know when Grandma baked them – no one could do it better. Regardless of what she cooked or baked it was just simply incredible. I guess most of us have these fond memories of our Grand parents in particular when it comes to the Holidays.
So now you know that I didn’t inherit a recipe for my cookies, yet I did my best to make it as close as possible to Grandma’s cinnamon stars. What I did inherit was an old German cookbook from 1889, which is awesome. Unfortunately the cinnamon stars were not listed, but similar recipes were. I hope I gave you some inspiration to bake some of your favorite Grandma’s Holiday cookies. Happy Holidays
- 1 cup / 225 g butter
- ½ cup / 120 g sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 4-5 drops bitter almond essence
- 2 cup / 250 g flour, sifted
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup / 150 g almonds, roasted & ground
- 1 cup / 125 g powdered sugar
- With a speed mixer whip butter and sugar until creamy.
- Add vanilla and bitter almond essences.
- In a separate bowl mix all other ingredients together.
- Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
- Don’t over mix.
- Place dough on a with flour dusted surface.
- Quickly knead dough to a shape of a ball.
- Roll out dough about ¼ inch / 7mm thick and cut out stars.
- Place cinnamon stars on a greased and floured baking tray.
- Bake in 350 degree Fahrenheit / 175 degree Celsius preheated oven until the edges are slightly turning golden brown (about 12-14 minutes)
- While the cinnamon stars are still hot place them in a bowl with powdered sugar. Turn cookies once or twice in the sugar and let cool out on a rack.
- When cookies are cool sprinkle with more powdered sugar. That’s best done with an icing sugar shaker. Store in an airtight container.
What are your favorite Holiday cookies?
Do you remember any of your Grandma’s recipes?