These are a true Christmas bake and are a must have in our house. They keep well and actually improve over time, making them perfect for Christmas. If you prefer the stars can be made with almonds instead of the hazelnuts.
Hazelnut Cinnamon Stars
- 3 medium egg whites
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 400g skin on hazelnuts, ground
- Icing sugar to dust
- Preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl beat the egg whites until stiff then gradually beat in the icing sugar until the mixture is thick and glossy. Spoon 2 tbsp of the mixture in a small bowl and set aside.
- With the mixer running on lowest speed, carefully beat in the vanilla essence, ground cinnamon and 300g of the nuts. Knead in enough of the remaining nuts to make a barely sticky dough.
- Dust a work surface generously with icing sugar and roll out the dough to about 5mm thickness. Cut out star shapes (it helps to dip the cutter into hot water to prevent the dough sticking) and place on the baking sheets.
- Paint the stars with the reserved egg white mixture (you may have to add a few drops of water if the mixture is too thick).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes. The stars should still feel a little soft underneath.
- Place the baked cinnamon stars with the parchment paper onto a cooling rack to cool.
- The cookies store well in an airtight container.
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