The cookies are baked, both Brune Kager (left) and the other cookies I’ve been making at Christmas for the past couple of years, Churer Zimtsterne.

The Zimtsterne are from a recipe by local chef Greg Atkinson that I found in the paper.  Since my husband has become allergic to dairy products, it’s nice to have a cookie recipe that doesn’t call for any butter or cream.   They are from Churer, Switzerland.

Churer Zimtsterne

  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds, skin on
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup egg white (two eggs’ worth, usually)
  • 1 t. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, plus more for handling dough

Preheat oven to 300 hundred degrees. Prepare cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Process almonds, cinnamon, and lemon zest in food processsor, pulsing until the almonds are coarsely chopped, then run motor until they are finely ground, around 30-40 seconds.

Beat egg whites, lemon juice,  and salt to stiff peak stage, then gradually beat in the powdered sugar until it’s a stiff meringue. Measure 1/2 cup of it and set aside. Stir almond mix into the remaining meringue.

Form into cookies — I scoop the dough with a spoon, form it gently into a ball in my powdered-sugar-coated hand, put on the parchment paper and press down to flatten.  The recipe says to roll out the dough on a powdered sugar-coated surface and cut into star shapes, but my dough’s never been solid enough to do that.

Brush or spoon reserved meringue onto tops of cookies.  Bake for 12-14 minutes — do not overbake. They will be tender and chewy, not hard and crisp. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

One of each of these, with my morning latte, is definitely a taste of my Christmas!

This is not.

 Isn’t fresh lutefisk an oxymoron?