Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Cookies: Zitronenherzen

Zitronenherzen or lemon hearts are Christmas cookies that are made without any flour. Ground almonds are substituted.  I found some almond meal/flour at Whole Foods that I used for these.  It's just finely ground blanched almonds.  Here are the ingredients:

3 egg yolks
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 to 2-1/4 cups finely ground almonds
1/8 tsp lemon extract (I used 1/2 tsp. lemon oil instead)
1/8 tsp. baking powder (I used just a little more)

Beat egg yolks, 2/3 c. sugar and vanilla until thick and lemon-colored.  Stir in 1/2 the almonds, the lemon oil and baking powder.

Transfer dough to sugared doughboard and knead in enough of the remaining almond to form soft dough.  Shape into ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 1-1/2 hrs.

Take a break, make some hot chocolate, pick up your knitting and listen to Christmas music for a while.
Ok.  Time's up--back to the cookies:

Heat oven to 400 deg.  Line cookie sheets with greased waxed paper (unless you have a Silpat, which is wonderful).  Roll dough out 1/4 inch thick on lightly sugared surface. Cut out cookies with 2-inch heart-shaped cutter.  Place on cookie sheets and bake 8-10 minutes. (I took mine out at about 7 min.  They were set without being brown. Don't bake them too long.)

When they are done, remove to racks immediately and cool.  Glaze with the following icing recipe:

1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Beat lemon juice into sugar in small mixer bowl until the consistency of corn syrup.  (I didn't sift my sugar so I had a higher proportion of sugar making it more like icing, which gave a more intensely-lemon flavor to the iced cookies.)

These cookies have a nice chewy texture with an almond flavor that I love and very lemony icing, which I also love.  If you wanted to tone the lemon a bit (I don't), you could make the icing thinner and use less--the way the recipe says.


Carson said...

Are there any of those left for the rest of us?!?!

poppyseed said...

Yes!! In the freezer!

Jake and Laura said...

I wonder if they ship well. Maybe we should test it out.

poppyseed said...

Probably! Might be worth a try.

Sesame Seeds and Tulips said...

We'll take a dozen...

ButterYum said...

Aw... these are so cute!