These naturally gluten free cinnamon stars might just be my favorite Christmas cookie. Not only do they taste delicious, they hold a special significance in my life. These cookies are a labor of love, and hopefully your family will appreciate them like I did.
Moms Make the Holidays More Special
I have many moms. Of course, there is my mother, who birthed and raised me. However, when I was a kid, I never called adults by their first name. My elders taught me that was rude. Therefore, I called every woman during my adolescent years “mom.” There was Mom Keersmakers at church, Mom Marks from school, and later Mom France when I was in college.
I think Mom Marks was used to the common moniker from her daughter’s friends. Her daughter, Erica, and I have been friends since middle school. Ieva welcomed me with open arms, made my prom dress (in return for some manual labor!), and introduced me to these gluten free cinnamon stars. As I age, my memory fails me. Whether I tried these prior to or after my Celiac Disease diagnosis, I cannot say. What I do remember is her kitchen table, every holiday season, covered in more types of Christmas cookies than you can count.
The Not So Secret Gluten Free Cinnamon Stars Recipe
I do remember my friend Erica’s excitement when she realized that these gluten free cinnamon stars contain no wheat flour. For years after my Celiac Disease diagnosis, Erica would make sure a batch of these Zimtsterne were set aside just for me. There’s something so touching when friends intentionally make sure your gluten free needs are met. Friends like these are more like family, right?
This year, I asked Erica for Mom Marks recipe for gluten free cinnamon stars. She helped me track it down. Ironically, this recipe for gluten free cinnamon stars isn’t as much as a family secret as I thought. The tried and true recipe Ieva uses every year? The one from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook! Therefore, Erica sent me a screen shot, and I transferred it here for you!
Gluten Free Cinnamon Stars Baking Tips
A few tips on making these gluten free cinnamon stars. I made this batch with blanched almonds I ground myself. I figured if this is how Ieva does it, I should as well. However, I don’t think my food processor grinds as fine as hers. Therefore, I suggest using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Almond Flour. They grind theirs from blanched almonds as well.
Also, the dough for these cinnamon stars WILL be sticky. When I first made the dough, I swore I messed it up. However, as it chilled, the almond flour absorbed much of the moisture. Don’t get me wrong. You will need lots of powdered sugar for rolling. I just don’t want you to freak if your dough is sticky. In addition, these cookies will puff when you bake them. Make sure to keep them thin. I used a knife to frost these gluten free cinnamon stars. Next time I make them I will use a piping bag. It allows more control in keeping the star outline.
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups Confectioners sugar, divided plus more for rolling
- 2 cups blanched almonds, ground (I suggest Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp grated lemon peel
- In medium bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Beat in 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. Don't scrape sides of bowl. Spoon out ¾ c for frosting. Cover and set aside.
- Into remaining mixture, add almond meal, cinnamon and lemon peel, and ½ c confectioners sugar. Cover, and refrigerate 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350. On a waxed surface, well dusted with confectioners sugar, pat out one third of dough. (Keep remaining dough in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
- Generously sprinkle confectioners sugar on top of dough. Cover with waxed paper and roll out 1/8 inch thick. Peel off paper, and with well dusted star cutter, cut out cookies. (Dust cookie cutter in powdered sugar.)
- With pancake turner or small offset spatula, place stars on cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly browned. With pancake turner, remove cookies to wire racks; cool. Repeat with remaining dough and scraps. Allow to cool completely.
- Turn oven down to 325.
- Frost cookies with reserved frosting. (This may be done easiest with a piping bag.) Return stars to cookie sheets. Bake 5 minutes or until frosting is set but not browned. Cool. Store tightly covered. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.
Who are the special people in your life, those friends that are more like family? How have others supported you in your diagnosis, especially during the holidays? Please give a shout out to these special people in the comments below!
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