“With winter stars, it’s like you’re an archaeologist on holiday, who happens to uncover beautiful spiced almonds beneath a meringue-like layer of royal icing. These little cookies are powerfully sweet and spicy, but held in check by the clean lines of lemon that shine through each bite.
Beers change as they warm, with more flavors typically coming out after a few minutes in the glass. Here, a milk stout warms the cookie, providing creaminess and malty chocolate that make the party feel whole. Together, the winter stars and milk stout are like a cool drink of hot chocolate.” – Jonathan Bender, from “Cookies & Beer: Bake, Pair, Enjoy.”
Makes: 25 cookies
Pairing: Dangerous Man Brewing Company’s Chocolate Milk Stout
Style: A chocolate milk stout or milk stout will provide a creamy balance to the sweet icing and spicy cinnamon.
Butter, for greasing (optional)
4½ cups blanched almond flour, plus more as needed
21/3cups granulated sugar
31/3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Juice of 1 large lemon
½ large egg white
3¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
6 large egg whites
3 drops fresh lemon juice
Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats*or grease with butter. *See Kitchen Ade note following recipes.
To make the cookies, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the almond flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the egg white until the dough is uniform.
On a flat surface, spread the dough so it is between 1/3 and ½ inch thick, the width of your index finger. If the dough won’t spread, roll it in some almond flour to bind it together.
To make the royal icing, in a large bowl, use a whisk or a hand mixer to beat together the confectioners’ sugar, egg whites, and lemon juice until stiff peaks form.
Use a spatula to cover the dough completely with the royal icing. Cut cookies from the dough using a star-shaped cookie cutter. Use a butter knife to push on the interior edges of the cookie cutters if the dough sticks. Ice over any imperfections. Place the stars on the prepared baking sheets. Freeze the cookies on the baking sheets overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the chilled cookies for 5 to 7 minutes, until the corners are lightly browned.
The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.