Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eating Whole Foods: Cinnamon Stars for the Holidays

We have a quirky little gym in our office building complex; and when you go there as much as I do you get to know people really well. The ladies I see everyday, on the gym floor, are no longer just acquaintances but most definitely friends.

We are of course encouraging and supportive of each others fitness goals; but it's not always about working out.  When we get into that locker room, we do what girls do  Yes, we talk about fitness and healthy things but we also, share recipes, talk about favorite restaurants and often times bring in food samples for each other.

That's how I got my first taste of Zimtstern, a traditional German cookie baked during the holiday season. Shaped like stars and topped with a meringue icing, these cookies were so delicious I knew I had to include them in my cookie tray this year.

I was able to get the recipe translated from my gym buddy Iris and immediately saw that there was at least one ingredient I wasn't sure where to buy....vanilla sugar.  And although I know I can make almond meal by finely grinding almonds I just didn't want to.  Iris, being the kind person she is, brought me in some of hers.

So I ventured out to Whole go to place for harder to find ingredients.  Instead of wandering aimlessly around the store I decided to go directly to Customer Service to inquire about the vanilla sugar.   That's where I met Dan, who suggested I try vanilla powder, mixed with sugar.  So I did; and it was perfect. One teaspoon of vanilla powder mixed with one cup of sugar. Kudo's to Dan and Iris for helping put together this recipe.  

Check out Whole Foods for those hard to find ingredients on your list.  Win a $25 gift card to get you started. Details below.

Zimtstern (Cinnamon Stars)
(courtesy of Iris)

2 egg whites
10.5 oz / 300 gr. ground almonds or almond meal
1 ¾ cups / 7 oz / 200 gr. powdered sugar
1 teaspoon / 4 gr. vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Separate the egg whites from the yolk (save yolks for another recipe)  Beat the whites until hard. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar and continue to beat until you have a nice creamy consistency.

Put 60g (about 5 tablespoons) of the mixture in a separate bowl (this will be your glaze).

Now add the vanilla sugar, cinnamon and almond meal. Depending on how sticky the dough gets you may not need to add ALL of the almond meal. It's best to mix the dough with your dough hooks or hands.

Dust your workspace with powdered sugar and roll out the dough about a third to half inch thick. Cut out the stars place them on a nonstick baking sheet and glaze them.

Bake at 250F for 25 minutes.

****Whole Foods Gift Card Give Away**** 
Leave a comment on this post.  Let me know what you would buy at Whole Foods if you won. Contest runs through 12/29/2012

Want additional entries:
1. friend me on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you did
2. Like Whole Foods on Facebook also leaving a comment here
3. Tweet about the contest on Twitter and link to me


  1. Love these cookies! Whenever I go to Whole Foods (the closest one is about 4 hours away), I browse the bulk food bins and stock up.

  2. I would love to buy one of their kits for decorating cookies!!!!

  3. I've sent you a friend request on Facebook!!

  4. I tweeted your contest with a link to you!!

  5. I forgot to add the tweeted link - here it is!! I tweeted your contest and included the link to you!!

  6. I would get some essential oils to start with then maybe one of those big thick juicy steaks I saw.

  7. I am your friend on Facebook

  8. I tweeted about the giveaway:

  9. We are trying to get away from most grains. I would get an assortment of flours (like bean flour) and quinoa for baking and maybe coconut oil.

  10. I love to buy Cheese from them!

  11. Hello, I tweeted your giveaway (again!)!

  12. Hello, I tweeted your giveaway today (Friday)!!!

  13. I've been drooling over their delicious shrimp. I would luv to try them as a holiday platter!

  14. I'd love to buy some almond meal from Whole Foods and their excellent cinnamon and make this recipe!!!

  15. You friended me on FB and I follow u on Twitter!

  16. I tweeted your giveaway!!! (I'm @chrysolite111)

  17. I'd buy blueberry muffins! :)

  18. I would definitely buy some honey, they always have a nice selection, and I would hit their bakery, awesome loaves and so many varieties.

  19. I tweeted:

  20. Hello, Happy Saturday! I tweeted your giveaway!!!