1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) hazelnuts or blanched almonds, finely ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large)
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
About 1/2 cup additional confectioners' sugar for rolling
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment
paper or aluminum foil.
2. Combine the nuts, cinnamon, and
zest. Beat the egg whites on low speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add the
salt, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form, 1 to 2
minutes. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and beat until stiff and glossy,
5 to 8 minutes. Reserve one-third of the meringue (about 1/3 cup) and fold the
nut mixture into the remaining meringue.
3. Place a large piece of waxed
paper on a flat surface and sprinkle with additional confectioners' sugar. Place
the nut mixture on the sugar, lightly sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar,
top with a second piece of waxed paper, and roll out 1/4 inch thick. Remove the
top piece of waxed paper. Using a cookie cutter dipped in water, cut into 2-inch
star shapes or use a sharp knife to cut into diamonds. Reroll and cut any
scraps. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes.
Spread the reserved meringue over the top of the cookies and bake until the tops
are lightly colored, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.
Zimtsternen taste best if allowed to stand for 24 hours. Store in an airtight
container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
Makes about thirty-six 2-inch