Flourless Vegan Zimtsterne

A cinnamon fiend’s dream: Flourless vegan Zimtsterne are a traditional German Christmas cookie gone vegan with the help of aquafaba. Dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, with no butter, oil or flour these cookies fit many diets.

First off: …

Merry Christmas! – Fröhliche Weihnachten! – Joyeux Noël! – Geseënde Kersfees! – God Jul! – Feliz Navidad!

Instead of my usual Christmas post I’m bringing you a recipe as a little gift today.

Do you know what’s funny? It’s only through blogging that I realize foods or dishes I’ve eaten for ages fit certain criteria. Like these Zimtsterne that to me were just, well , Zimtsterne but actually happen to be naturally gluten-free. No tinkering needed. However, they still needed a makeover because the traditional recipes relies heavily on whipped egg whites so isn’t vegan. In comes the magic that is aquafaba! If you haven’t heard of this superstar ingredient yet: it’s the liquid you dran from cans of chickpeas and white beans. Or rather: the liquid you won’t be discarding anymore once you see its amazingness play out.

Zimtsterne - vegan and gluten-free Christmas cookies using just six ingredients!

The flourless vegan Zimtsterne aren’t the healthiest cookie out there, I know. All that powdered sugar – whoa, huh? Here’s the deal [and it’s no revelation]: life’s all about balance. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I like to experiment with more nutritious alternatives to traditional baking ingredients. Gluten-free oat flour instead of the refined version. Maple syrup standing in for sugar. Dates to create a luscious caramel topping. Yet – there are recipes that aren’t meant to be healthified. The memories evoked by these naturally gluten-free cinnamon cookies weren’t made eating a sugar-free #cleaneating-approved version of them.  Now if I absolutely cannot convince you to let a little sugar into your life: there’s help.  Here’s a tutorial on how to make sugar-free powdered sugar at home or a storebought alternative. Because nobody should miss out on Zimtsterne.

zimtsterne-gluten-free-and-vegan-made-with-aquafaba

Now I haven’t eaten my grandma’s Zimtsterne in years as I’m not eating eggs anymore. So I obviously had to ‘force’ 😉 my family to rate the authenticity of my vegan Zimtsterne. Verdict? Big thumbs up. Even my dad who – unlike my mum and sister – didn’t know about the fact these were vegan, much less the secret ingredient, noticed no difference. If you’re not convinced to try these yet I’m at a loss. Too bad because you’d be missing out on these delightfully soft-yet-slightly-chewy cinnamon-spiked cookies topped with a crisp sweet icing. If you’re a cinnamon fiend you will fall heads over heels for these naturally gluten-free Zimtsterne.

One more thing: Don’t let the length of the instructions intimidate you! This recipe for vegan Zimtsterne – while more time-involved – is actually very simple and fun to prepare. I just tried to make the directions as clear as possible so you, too, could have  Zimtsterne in your life. Not just for Christmas but all year round!

Flourless vegan Zimtsterne

  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar, sifted [180 g]
  • ¼ cup of aquafaba [60 ml]
  • 3 cups of almond meal [300 g], divided [2 ½ + ½ cup] OR 2 ½ cups of almond meal + ½ cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of amaretto*
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Add the aquafaba to a tall mixing bowl and beat at high speed for 4-5 minutes.
  2. In intervals, add in the powdered sugar, beating it in well on high speed for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Transfer about ¾ of the mixture  into a larger bowl. The remaining ¼ will be your frosting later on.
  4. Mix 2 1/2 cups of the ground almonds and cinnamon. Pour on top of the whipped aquafaba in the large bowl and mix to combine everything well with a spatula.
  5. Knead in the amaretto and a squeeze of lemon juice by hand. If your dough is too sticky, add some of your reserved almond meal/[gluten-free] flour.
  6. At this point preheat your oven to 120 °C/235 °F.
  7. Sprinkle some of the reserved ground almonds or the gluten-free flour on your work surface, place your dough ball on top, sprinkle with some more ground almonds and roll out about ¼ inch/1/2 cm thick.
  8. Cut out cookies and transfer to your lined baking sheet(s).
  9. Using a knife or baking brush, spread the reserved aquafaba on the cookies.
  10.  Bake for around 16-20 minutes or until your able to lift a cookie from the tray without bits of dough sticking to the parchment paper.

Barely adapted from Daily Vegan.

Notes

Make sure the bowl you’re whipping the aquafaba in  is completely dry and free from any fat residue as aquafaba – just like  egg whites – reacts negatively to fat [i.e. won’t whip properly].

Cover your mixing bowl with a towel for the first minute of whipping up to avoid Aquafaba splashing all around your kitchen and getting covered in it yourself.

*For an alcohol-free version sub 1 tbsp of water + ½ tsp of almond extract.

Zimtsterne - vegan and gluten-free Christmas cookies using just six ingredients!

On a last note big thanks to my sweet friend Charlotte who helped me decide on the pictures here. I obviously sent her home with a cookie bag as a little gift.

I’m sharing this with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek, Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

Happiness-inducing today: Despite being full-on sick now the day held so many wonderful little moments. Meeting my friend mentioned above. Finding out that her on-off boyfriend finally commited to a relationship [ I asked her if I could share this because it made me truly happy].

 

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What’s your favourite Christmas cookie?
 

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Sweet and cheesy. Cheesy. And sweet. [WIAW]

Alternative title: The three cheese edition. Cheese has been back in action lately. While I didn’t eat all of them in the same day there are three kinds of cheese in three meals today.  I’m writing the intro after finishing the remaining post – typical – so as I’ll get wordy enough below I’ll keep it short and sweet [not cheesy] here. It’s What I ate Wednesday so let’s talk food!

WIAW

Sweet and cheesy [cream cheese at breakfast]

There’s a new sweet breakfast favourite in town. Pretty much the day after he posted it – but still sneakily including it in my good good links  – I tried Arman’s Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Pudding.  Unlike what the name suggests it’s prepared with oat branmy favourite. Not following Arman’s suggestion I’ve been eating this hot because that way it reminds me of the cinnamon-topped semolina pudding of my childhood. I -did- follow the original idea of using cream cheese for the topping instead of my vegan substitute this time, though. Wow. I never new how much I’d missed cream cheese before plus it perfectly complemented the hot cinnamon oat bran here.  Unfortunately, breakfast is the hardest to photograph meal for me. No high expectations here especially if you know my preferred way of eating it.

Cinnamon Roll Oat Bran

Something about not being hungry when I wake up but then suddenly feeling very much so once the scent of whatever I prepare fills the room. Trust me: you wouldn’t want to spend another minute waiting to eat if you smelled this. Not only does this scent heavenly – who doesn’t like cinnamon?! – but it also wins in the taste department. Granted, I’ve never had a Cinnamon Bun yet I can say it Maybe I should come up with a more elaborate rating system for recipes I tried?! Polkadots instead of stars to keep it unique? Kidding. Until then: two thumbs up.

Cheesy [Romadur at lunch]
Cheese and I have been on-off since I reintroduced it into my diet. Most lunches are still vegan but lately I’ve found myself craving cheese and after playing it down for a while caved. To stink spice things up I branched out of my safe and known – admittedly even pre-vegetarian very limited – cheese territory and bought a new-to-me kind.

Romadur_Cauliflower

Romadur is a more aromatic – some might say ‘stinky’– cheese typical in a certain area of Germany. Yesterday I threw together some favourites for an easy casserole using it. Caramelized onions, cauliflower, speltberries,  peas and fresh parsley topped with the Romadur. Hit the spot. A newfound cheese favourite and I’m tempted to go back to the fridge for another slice as a snack once I finish this sentence post. Hey, I need to get my calcium in after all.

Sweet [cottage cheese]

A sweet snack I actually tried weeks ago already for the first time was Amanda’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cheesecake Dip. In three words: Try it now! I’m usually not a fan of actual baked cheesecake and don’t think I ever was but I do like all kinds of dips. Most of that time they’re of the savoury variety so it was a welcome change to go the sweet route here. Especially since it’s summer and while eating plain fruit is delicious already pairing it with ‘cheesecake’ takes snack time up a notch.

July 2nd 029

Thumbs up for this recipe, too. Okay, don’t let the picture below fool you. I actually ate most of the dip straight up with a spoon. Another win for not having to share. A little more detailed: the combination of Greek yogurt and blended cottage cheese makes for a creamy, slightly tangy base which – once sweetened – is a perfect blank sheet for further flavor experimentation. But what more than Cookies & Cream could you want? So good. The perfect use for the mini Oreos I’d bought a while back an,  noticed I didn’t enjoy much on their own.

Oreo cheesecake dip

Talking about all of that cheese I’m hungy again so I’ll track down a snack and then settle for some What I ate Wednesday reading over at Jenn’sprocrastination at its finest. I’ll see you again tomorrow for Thinking out loud. Until then:

Happy Wednesday and happy [cheese] eating!

Happiness-inducing today: Talking to my grandma – even if just on the phone – in the morning.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Do you eat ‘dessert for breakfast’-type oats? If yes: what are your favourites?

Have you ever eaten fruit with some kind of [sweet] dip – aside from peanut butter? Let me know any good recipes.

What are your favourite kinds of cheese?