If you’d ask me what my favorite spices were, the answer would be: cinnamon & vanilla. No wonder my favorite Christmas cookies are two German classics: star-shaped cinnamon cookies (Zimtsterne) and vanilla crescents (Vanillekipferl). This is why I’m very excited that these unbelievably easy recipes taste so much like the originals. Today I’ll share the one for cinnamon cookies with you. Here you can get to the one for the vanilla crescents.
My dad, an affected “let’s see what we have left in the fridge to improvise”-cook, soon taught me to use cinnamon for simply everything. So while most people only use it for their sweet dishes or top their cappuccino with it, I add it to pretty much every dish I make: soups, curries, (sweet) potato mash, casseroles, you name it. Basically when I feel like something’s missing, cinnamon really gives it that extra something. Beyond all that, cinnamon really is an all-rounder. Not only does it regulate blood sugar levels, but also boosts your metabolism. Even the smell of cinnamon has a lot of positive effects, like our ability to concentrate and our memory performance. As you can see, there are a lot of good excuses to eat a lot of these cookies.
Enough raving! Here comes the easiest recipe for cinnamon cookies ever. Those that are feared by so many amateur bakers because they usually are very elaborate to make. They taste almost exactly the same so that the question is why even bother with the original.
I actually prefer these cookies raw. But if you want to bake them, go ahead! They are delicious either way. It’s just a matter of taste, I guess.
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cooking time: – (if baking: 15 Min)
Total: 15 Min (if baking: 30 Min)
For the cookies (Makes 15-20 stars, depending on size)
- 2/3 cup nuts (100 g) * (I use 1/3 cup almonds and 1/3 cup hazelnuts)
- 10-12 dates (100 g), depending on size and stickiness
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- a little pinch of (Himalayan) salt
For the icing (Version1)
- 3 tbsp powdered coconut sugar
For the icing (Version2)
- 3 tbsp coconut butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
You will also need:
- If dates aren’t very fresh and/ or sticky enough, soak them in hot water for about ten minutes.If you’d like to bake the cookies, now is the time to preheat the oven to 300° F (150° C) and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place nuts in a food processor and blend until a coarse flour forms. Add cinnamon and salt and blend another few seconds. Then add the dates (drained) and blend again until a sticky dough forms. If too sticky, simply add a few extra nuts or nut flour. If too dry, add another date or two (one after another).
- Roll the dough and cut out into star shapes. This works really well with parchment paper or plastic wrap between dough and rolling pin. If necessary, damp the cookie cutter in a bowl of cold water before every cut.
- If baking, place the cookies in the oven for about 15 Minutes until a little firmer. Let cool after removing from the oven and top with the icing.
- Version (1): Mix together powdered sugar with a little bit of water (about 1-2 tsp) and spread on cookies. Store in the fridge and take out a few minutes before serving. As you can see, cinnamon cookies can be so easy to make!
- Version (2): Melt coconut butter in a simple double boiler. Mix together with maple syrup and a little bit of water (about 1 tbsp) and spread on cookies. Place in the fridge until firm and take out a few minutes before serving.
*Notes: I really like the combination of strongly aromatic hazelnuts and sweet almonds in this recipe.