Cinnamon Walnut Stars
- Yield 45-50 pieces
- Prep 30 mins
- Cook 20 mins
- 3-1/2 cups California walnut pieces, toasted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 -- egg whties
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- -- Additional sugar for rolling out the dough
- For icing and decorating the cookies:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons water (or brandy or rum if desired)
- 50 -- California walnut halves, or 2/3 cup chopped California walnuts
Preheat the oven to 325F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the walnuts, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the flour, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and salt. Process until the walnuts are finely ground, then transfer to a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the lemon juice, then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar as you continue beating until stiff peaks form. Scoop the beaten whites on top of the walnut mixture, then stir together until completely blended and you have a sticky but stiff dough. (Though not essential, the dough will be easier to handle if chilled for a couple of hours before rolling it out. It will keep, refrigerated, for several days.)
Place about a 14-inch sheet of parchment paper on your work surface and sprinkle with 3 – 4 tablespoons of sugar. Put half the dough on the sugared parchment and sprinkle it with 2 more tablespoons of sugar. Cover with another sheet of parchment. Roll the dough between the parchment to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Peel away the top sheet of parchment. Using a 2 – 2 1/2-inch star (or round) cutter, cut as many cookies as you can. With a spatula, transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Reroll the scraps and cut more cookies. (You can reuse the parchment, sprinkling it with sugar each time.)
Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until the cookies look dry. Cool for 2 minutes on the pan, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Roll, cut and bake cookies from the remaining half of the dough the same way.
To prepare the icing, combine the powdered sugar and water in a bowl and stir briskly, using enough liquid to make a smooth, runny glaze. Brush the cookies with a thin coating of icing and, before it dries, decorate with a walnut half or sprinkle lightly with chopped walnuts. When the icing is dry and set, store the cookies in an airtight container.
Recipe Provided Courtesy of the Walnut Marketing Board Germany