I’m putting a timer on everything I do today, in an effort to maintain a disciplined schedule. Blogging was not on my to-do list, but I have to report that I found a cure for November, at least a temporary one. It’s called December. Yesterday, we started December a day early and dragged the tree out of the attic, which the kids decorated (the younger ones with greatest enthusiasm). AppleApple and I also decided, impulsively, to start a new advent tradition: Christmas-cookie Sunday, or, as her big brother said, as he dashed through the kitchen, “Hashtag CCS!”
Other cures for November included cooking a big supper while the older kids were at soccer practice, and the younger ones played games together (and then watched the Pokemon cartoon on YouTube): an Indian-themed feast. Just because I wanted to. While listening to the radio. I also did my physio exercises while listening to the radio (#projecthamstring). I love the radio.
It was quite late in the day when we started our baking project, and I had my doubts about the five-ingredient, flour-less, oil-free cookies chosen by my daughter (and in truth, our version looked only sort of like the polished shining cookies in the cookbook’s photograph), but it all came together smoothly; moreover, I highly recommend these cookies. They are crunchy and chewy and lemony. Plus you can tell yourself that eating one is almost like eating a tiny little protein bar. That’s what I told myself when I ate one after coming home from spin class this morning.
Now, to return to my disciplined day. Timer just went.
Zimtsterne, or lemon cinnamon stars
Grate the zest from one lemon into a small bowl. Sift 2 and 1/2 cups icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add 3 cups ground almonds, the lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix together. In a separate bowl, beat two egg whites until stiff. Fold the beaten egg whites into the almond mixture, and stir until the batter comes together. It will make a stiff dough. If it’s sticky, add more ground almonds.
Divide the dough in two to make it easier to roll out on a lightly floured surface. Cut out cookies (we used a tiny star cookie cutter from the Bulk Barn), and lay onto baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5 minutes in a 400 degree preheated oven. Use up all the scraps by gathering and re-rolling.
Let cool on rack. Ice with a lemon glaze made from 1 and 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with 1/4 cup of icing sugar (or more). We used three batches of glaze to ice our cookies.
PS Next week we plan to try Pfeffernusse for #CCS. If you have suggestions for favourite Christmas cookie recipes, please post them or email them.
PS#2 I’ve opened shop. Signed and personalized copies of my book are now available for order on the sidebar. Optionally, for a better price on Girl Runner, my Canadian publisher, House of Anansi, is offering a one-day deal, 50% off (TODAY! DECEMBER 1!).