Ever wondered what to do with all the excess egg whites piling up in the fridge, especially around Christmas time? A great way to use them is to bake cinnamon cookies. Cinnamon cookies not only taste very good but are crispy and, best of all, gluten-free.
In Austria, the country I original come from, we love to make cinnamon star cookies (so-called “Zimtsterne”) in the weeks before Christmas. They are so quick and easy to bake that even my children have no problem at all to make them completely on their own. And I daresay they taste even better than mine!
First, grind whole almonds to almond meal. This is very easily done as you only need a blender. Also, you can of course buy already ground almonds. In my opinion, though, their taste can not compare to freshly ground ones at home. Also, ground almonds go rancid very quickly, so it is important to check their expiration date when buying them.
Next, separate egg white from yolk. My daughter loves to use an egg separator when doing this. But I prefer to crack open the egg shell on the edge of a cup and use the egg shell halves to separate the yolk from the egg white as I think this goes much quicker.
Now beat the egg whites until stiff and add a pinch of salt at the end as this helps keeping the stiffness. Then sift confectioners’ sugar if necessary and add one spoonful at a time to the beaten egg whites while continuing beating.
Next, mix the dry ingredients (i.e. ground almonds, cinnamon powder and vanilla sugar) thoroughly.
Then, add the eggwhite-sugar-mixture to the dry ingredients and mix it carefully with a wooden spoon or so.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl and place it on a surface covered generously with confectioners’ sugar. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in a plastic foil, before placing it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let it rest.
After turning on the oven to a temperature of 150 °C (≈ 300 °F) prepare the egg white glaze. This is very simple as you only need to beat one egg white until stiff and then add (sifted) confectioners’ sugar one spoon at a time.
After a rest of 30 minutes take the dough out of the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Place the dough on a surface covered with confectioners’ sugar so that it does not stick to it. Put also some confectioners’ sugar on top of the dough and on the rolling pin. Roll out the dough to a thickness of approximately 1/4-inch. Take your cookie cutters (in my home country we always take the star shapes), cut out the cookies and place them on the parchment paper lining the baking sheet.
Finally, spread the egg white glaze onto the cookies. You can either use a pastry brush (as I did) or a knife.
Place the cookies in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, then take them out and let them cool!
Enjoy your very crispy and tasty gluten-free cinnamon cookies!
g = gram
TBS = tablespoon = 15 ml
tsp. = teaspoon = 5 ml
1 cup = 1 cup [US] = 235 ml = 16 tablespoons (TBS)
1 inch (in or “) = 2.54 centimeters (cm) = 25.4 millimeters (mm)