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Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)

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Zimtsterne cookies are a very traditional part of the Christmas and Easter offerings to guests in Austria. Components like cinnamon and almonds give a great sensation when they're in your mouth. Originally, cinnamon and almonds were very expensive and not widely distributed ingredients in Europe and had to be brought in from abroad. This explains why almonds and cinnamon are traditionally associated with holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Austrians buy them already packaged, but the aroma of homemade cookies is stronger than the store-bought. These are also made or bought as little gifts when visiting friends, too.

Zimtsterne are the 6-pointed star shape cinnamon cookies that are classified to German cuisine, but they are also very popular all over Austria. These cookies have the second name - the "first stars" and traditionally were baked to celebrate the end of the fast day. Except the cinnamon, they include hazelnuts or almonds, sugar and sometimes you may try them with lemon zest. The cookies usually have white icing on top or are dusted with white or brown sugar.

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References

Cinnamon Stars, www.pastrywiz.com

German Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne), www.epicurious.com

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Star Cookies), www.food.com