German Lemon Heart Cookies – Zitronenherzen
The German Lemon Heart Cookies are traditional Christmas cookies. Lemon Heart Cookies are called Zitronensterne in Germany.
Ingredients for German Lemon Heart Cookies:
- 3 egg yolks, XL
- 120 g (4.23 oz) of sugar
- 1 pouch of vanilla sugar OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon of lemon extract
- ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
- 200g – 250 g (7.05 oz – 8.81 oz) of blanched almond meal
- some powdered sugar for rolling the dough
Ingredients for lemon icing:
- 100 g (3.52 oz) of powdered sugar
- 1-1½ tablespoons of lemon juice
Preparation of German Lemon Heart Cookies:
Make sure you have either the almond meal or ground almonds before you start making the dough. You can grind the almonds by using a manual almond grater which you can find here.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla flavor, and lemon extract until creamy using your electric handheld mixer. Add baking powder and mix. Start adding half the grated almonds (almond meal) and continue mixing with your handheld mixer and then continue with the second half of the almond meal (grated almonds) adding little by little while continuing to mix. Add as much almond meal to the dough as required for the ingredients to be well mixed and the dough becoming smooth. If necessary knead the dough with your hands.
Sprinkle powdered sugar on your work surface. Place the dough on top and cover it with cellophane wrap. Roll the dough using a rolling pin. The thickness of the dough should be about 0.5 cm (0.2 inches). Remove the cellophane wrap from the dough and use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut the cookies. Place them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Dip the heart cookie cutter into a bowl of powdered sugar from time to time to avoid the dough sticking to the cookie cutter.
Preheat the oven to 175°C – 195C (350°F – 380°F). Bake the cookies on the middle rack for about 16-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the cookies and the temperature chosen. In the meantime beat the lemon juice and the powdered sugar. Add as much powdered sugar as required to make the mixture is smooth and easy to spread.
When the cookies are done, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. Brush them with the lemon icing while they are still warm. Store the cookies in a tin box.
Find more of Oma’s traditional German Christmas cookies recipes here.