The cure for November or “Christmas-cookie Sunday” #CCS


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.

xo, Carrie

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!).

There is no First Prize
Snapshot, briefly


  1. m

    Oh! Those cookies look and sound amazing. Did you grind your own almonds or buy almond flour? I’m very tempted to make these. My go-to Christmas cookie is a shortbread, which I’ll share if you’re interested, but I feel like most people have a decent shortbread recipe.

    • Carrie Snyder

      We bought ground almonds. I guess it could be called almond flour? It was not that finely ground, frankly, not quite like flour. It’s also fairly expensive. But we’ll definitely make these cookies again. I had a few after my hot yoga class this morning (protein!). Also, shortbread is on our shortlist of cookies to try. We’ve never made it, so we don’t have a tried and true recipe. If you’ve got one, that would be great!

  2. Tudor

    Our official Christmas cookies are gumdrop cookies. Essentially oatmeal cookies, but instead of raisins, or chocolate chips, stir in very small / chopped gumdrops. They’re really pretty when baked – the gumdrops look like stained glass. My boys have been reminding me it’s time to make these … I guess a CCS is in order!

    • Carrie Snyder

      That sounds really pretty, Tudor!

    • m

      My shortbread is the opposite of your Zimsterne: all butter and flour!
      1 cup butter, room temp (I use unsalted, but you could use salted if you prefer)
      1/2 cup icing sugar
      1/4 cup rice flour
      1/4 cup cornstarch
      1 1/2 cup flour

      Cream butter and sugar, add rice flour & cornstarch, then add flour.
      You made need to use your hands to massage it a bit so that it sticks together.
      Roll it out. I cut mine into shapes with a cookie cutter or you could roll into balls and flatten.
      Bake at a 300F for 20-25 min.


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