hazelnute cookies

This is a healthified update of the classic cinnamon star cookies that will sure impress on any cookie plate.

This post is part of a virtual Christmas cookie exchange that I am doing with 12 of my blogging friends.  Please make sure to read all the way to the end and check out their beautiful recipes! 

I love the holiday season! 

It’s full of flavors, scents, beautiful sounds, and candle light.  I love this time of year! Even though we are moving toward the shortest day of the year.

Also, it is the time when I like to spend afternoons in the kitchen.  There are so many classic Christmas recipes that I like to make and bake. 

Every year, I bake enough cookies that I can give little bags to friends and family.  Usually, I add a little tag that reads “from the hearts and kitchen of …”.

Most often, I end up baking about 6 or so different cookie types.  Mostly, they are family favorites. 

Sometimes, I like to try something new.  Best is when I get together with some girlfriends for a joint baking session.  Oh, the fun!

And they all go well with a cup of “upgraded coffee“.

How to make Healthy Classic Cinnamon Star Cookies

You see, one recipe that has been showing up for years are the classic cinnamon star cookies.  They are one of Germany’s favorite Christmas cookies. In German, they are called “Zimtsterne”.

Nuts are the main ingredients in this recipe. My husband absolutely loves anything with nuts. He has been caught eating all of them in one sitting. So, sometimes I hide these cookies.

You can make them with almonds but we really love making them with hazelnuts.  Trader Joe’s for example carries bags of roasted hazelnuts that are excellent in this recipe. 

Updated ingredients

The traditional recipe calls for egg whites, cinnamon, and lots of powdered sugar.  While I am not trying to be perfect or dogmatic, I try to avoid white sugar.  Also, I like to think of ways how to “healthify” family favorites.

These healthy classic cinnamon stars sure fit the bill!  They are delicious and made with coconut sugar, so you won’t feel bad reaching for an extra one. Or two. Or three 😉

Another little tweak that I did, was the topping.  Traditionally, this would be whipped sugared egg whites.  If you like, you can still do that which will give you a “prettier” result. 

The cinnamon star recipe in my 1906 German cookbook 

However, I used whipped egg whites and added just enough Xylitol to make it sweet.  However, you can adjust the amount to your liking.  Other ideas are to use some xylitol and a bit of stevia powder.  Or simply go for white powdered sugar. 

Using xylitol changed the consistency of the glaze – which is not the traditional way.  But healthier 😊.  

These cinnamon stars just went into the oven
classic cinnamon star cookie
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Healthy Classic Cinnamon Star Cookies

These classic German Christmas cookies received an upgrade with coconut sugar and xylitol glaze
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: cinnamon star cookies
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories: 38kcal
Author: Our Gabled Home
Cost: $5


  • 8 oz ground hazelnuts or filberts
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 egg whites, separate
  • 1 TBSP xylitol


  • 1. Preheat oven to 300˚F.
    2. Mix all the dry ingredients and one egg white until well combined. 
    3. Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out star shapes.  
    4. Place star cookies on cookie sheet.
    5. Whip the second egg white just until stiff (don’t whip too long).  Add xylitol.  Spread on star cookies as glaze.
    6. Bake for 10 – 15 mins. Glaze should be white not brown.
    hazelnute cookies


  • if the dough sticks to the cookie cutter, dip the cookie cutter lightly in powdered sugar or flour (if not gluten-free)
  • xylitol does not make the prettiest glaze but powdered sugar (maybe with a bit of powdered stevia) will

Go check out some more delicious cookie recipes!

Today these wonderful cookie recipes are available for you to try:

I would love to hear how you like them!  Let me know in the comments what version you ended up doing! 

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28 thoughts on “Healthy Classic Cinnamon Star Cookies”

  1. Anja, thanks for posting this. Zimtsterne are one of my childhood favorites as well. Oma included them in the holiday package she sent every year. I’m excited to try a healthier version, especially since I can’t even find the packaged ones this year.

  2. Thank you for the healthier recipes for those reasonable souls who want this. Personally, the holiday season is for tradition. I love the original recipes! Just love the smells,, warmth in house, memories of sharing rhe kitchen and recipes with loved ones now gone and joy of sharing these wonderful treats once a year in this beautiful season of Christ’s birth.

    Please publish your recipe, as you promised, for german potato salad.

    Thanks for the memories!

  3. Looking for German Honey Cookies – unable to duplicate my mother’s honey cookies. The sticky dough “aged” in the garage before rolling out, each cookie was topped with an almond, and then baked. Recipe also included citron. Any suggestions? It is not the version commonly found on the internet. Any ideas would be appreciated. Sadly, my mother did not leave us her recipe.
    Thank you for your cheesecake recipe using “quark”. That is the way my mother and sister (raised in Germany) made cheesecake. I am anxious to try your recipe.

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  16. 5 stars
    Stunning photos! These cookies look delicious! Especially that they are healthier!! I also love how you included the German recipe! That book is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!

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