"Here she goes again with her stupid cookies cutters and crappy photomontages". Well snap out of it people (faites pas la gueule) it's now officially one of my specialties. But today I feel like I'm perfectly entitled to it. You see, I have the flu.
(here, dramatic pause to let people express their commiseration)
I'm feelin' the pain (je dérouille sévère). No, I am, seriously. I'm going blind in my left eye, I can hardly taste the difference between peanut butter and chicken liver pâté, and my muscles feel like I've wrestled a yeti. Besides I'm miles away from home (3635 to be precise) and I have to make my own chicken soup. How much does that suck?
So I feel entitled to indulge in a lousy photomontage, cut me some slack. And if you were wondering, yes it is Hillary Clinton pointing her space-shooter at you.
Zimtsterne are miracle Alsacian and German cookies and ladies and gentlemen I weigh my words. Not only do they taste fabulous (otherwise I wouldn't bother posting, duh) and they are cholesterol free, but I also claim that they lower your cholesterol. It's my excuse to stuff my face with them and my answer to my doctor who wants me to quit egg yolks and butter and start running the marathon. Take THAT mister quacky quack.
Cinnamon ("Zimt" in case you wondered) is the real star here. As you will see, very few ingredients - use good quality so that every flavour really shines through. The original recipe, in French and grams, is available on Pauline's blog, but as I know you're going to give me hassle big time (je sais que vous allez me chercher des crosses) if I use grams, I'll translate and convert it for you.
2 egg whites
1 1/4 c plain sugar (yeah sorry guys, I said good for cholesterol not diabetes)
2 1/2 c almond flour (from whole unpeeled almonds, not the white kind. Trader Joe's carries it. Or stick raw almonds in the blender)
1Tbsp lemon juice
2Tbsp cinnamon powder
Whisk the eggwhites with a big pinch of salt, and when they are stiffening, add the sugar progressively. It should become glossy. I did it by hand (with my flu muscles, woohoo), so I never got a voluminous meringue, it's just *fine*. Put aside about half a cup of that meringue. In what remains, fold in the almond powder, the lemon juice and the cinnamon with a spatula until it coalesces into a ball.
Sprinkle your worktop liberally with caster sugar, and roll the dough, keeping it thick (about a third of an inch). Dipping your star cookie cutter in water every so often, cut out stars and put them on a silpat or parchment paper. Ice the top with the remaining meringue (it's fiddly - my stars were tiny, I used he back of a spoon, but apparently a piping bag works). Let it stand 12 hours at room temp (overnight is good). After this considerable long time, turn your oven on at 460°C and bake for 5 minutes (a little bit of an anticlimax). The meringue should not brown. They are incredible when still warm, and amazing when cooled. I challenge you to have just one.
And now I will go back to lying in my bed in the dark and strumming my guitar to melancholy Johnny Cash tunes. I love that husky voice of mine. It's hot.