One of my favorite cookies, even though I usually only indulge at Christmas! The process is a tad tedious, but the end result is totally worth it. Sweet, moist nuttiness mixed with delicate crunch of the meringue topping.Yum!
Oh, and they are gluten-free!
- 3 whole Egg Whites (chilled)
- 1 pinch Salt
- 2 cups Icing Sugar (aka Powdered Sugar, Confectioner's Sugar)
- 2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
- Peel Of One Lemon
- 2-⅔ cups Ground Hazelnuts (also Known As Filbert Nuts) - Almonds Will Also Work
* If you can’t get ground hazelnuts/almonds, grind them in a food processor. It doesn’t have to be as fine as almond flour, but it should be pretty fine, with the odd bit of slightly bigger nuts. Once you’re done grinding, THEN measure them for this recipe!*
Preheat oven to 300F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Under constant beating, add the icing sugar, little by little.
Fill 1/3 of the meringue mix into a Ziploc bag and set aside.
Fold the cinnamon, lemon peel and ground nuts into the remaining meringue mix.
Line your work surface with a large sheet of plastic foil.
If your dough is on the very sticky side, sprinkle some more ground nuts and icing sugar and work the dough through a little.
Gently roll out the dough on your plastic sheet. If the top is really sticky, add some more ground nuts etc, or line the top of the dough with another sheet of plastic and roll it out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Peel off the top layer of plastic.
With a star cookie cutter, cut as many stars as you can get and place them on a cookie sheet. It helps to dunk the cookie cutter into some icing sugar as you go. Reroll the left-over dough and continue cutting out stars until there is no dough left.
Now snip the corner of the Ziploc bag with the meringue mix. Roughly pipe a thin layer of the meringue mix, spreading it out evenly all over the top of the star with the back of a small spoon.
Bake for 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool before trying to move them.
They will firm up and the meringue will crisp up as they cool.
Store in a cookie tin.
They also make a lovely Christmas gift. Stack a few on top of each other, wrap them in cellophane wrap with some decorative string and a small ornament or twig and you’re good to go! I would recommend that you let the cookies sit for at least 2-3 days in the tin before you do that. The meringue topping won’t get ruined by the cookies sitting on top then!
The photo is from last year, I will post mine once I’ve made this year’s batch
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