Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Cinnamon Stars A Century Ago

To bake cookies for Christmas is a centuries old tradition dating back to the Middle Ages! Today I want to share one of the old recipes with you, not from that long ago but over a hundred years old and handed down from my grandmother.

Despite technological advances and modern ingredients for modern recipes some good old fashioned  recipes cannot be improved upon. This is one of them!

Cutting of first batch

75 g butter
75 g sugar
3 Tbsp honey
1 egg
zest of 1 lemon
8 g ground  cinnamon (I use 2 tsp)
250 g flour
3 tsp baking powder
50 g ground almonds, peanuts or walnut          (I used freshly roasted and ground peanuts)
125 ml apple wine, or less, depending on consistency
 ( apple juice will do if preferred)

Ready for baking

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add honey, egg and lemon zest and mix until smooth. Sift flour with baking powder and stir in the ground nuts of your choice. Add about half of the dry ingredients to your butter mixture and combine until absorbed. Add a little of the apple wine, stir in, then add more of the flour mix. The dough should be smooth and a little soft but not sticky. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for an hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Roll out dough to pencil thickness, cut out stars and place on ungreased but floured baking sheets. Bake on middle shelf for 7 to 10 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Transfer to cooling racks. These cookies will not be crunchy but will remain soft.

An easy way to roll out the dough without it sticking to the rolling pin is to do the rolling between two layers of clingfilm 

To decorate the stars mix 250 g sifted icing sugar with a little fresh lemon juice to obtain a fairly thick icing. Use brush to coat each cookie and sprinkle with vermicelli or Hundreds & Thousands. Or decorate according to your own preference!

Ready to be enjoyed

The cinnamon stars will keep fresh for about two weeks in airtight containers separated by layers of greaseproof or waxed paper.

Let me know your opinion when you have tried this recipe. I would really appreciate it!

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