Drei Augen and Zimtsterne are two classic German Christmas cookies. The first is a shortbread cookie made by combining flour, butter, almonds, sugar and cinnamon. After baking, the cookies are decorated with powdered sugar and red currant jelly. The second is a macaroon-style cinnamon star.
To prepare Drei Augen, mix 2 1/2 cups of flour with 3 ounces of finely ground, unblanched almonds and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. In a separate bowl, cream 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, then add 2/3 cup sugar. Beat until creamy. Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low until blended. Divide the dough into three pieces, then roll each into a circle. Stack the dough in the refrigerator for two hours.
Cut dough into 1 1/2 inch circles, and cut three small holes in only one quarter of the cookies. Place cookies on sheet 1/2 inch apart, and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 to 15 minutes until light golden. When cookies are cooled, dust tops with powdered sugar. To prepare the cookie center, boil the jelly for two minutes, and cool until just warm. Place 1/4 teaspoon jelly onto each cookie half, and top with sugared cookie top.
Zimtsterne is prepared by combining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 3 cups sliced almonds and 1 1/3 teaspoon of cinnamon in a food processor until almonds are finely chopped. Beat three egg whites for one minute, then add 1 3/4 cups of confectioners' sugar, and beat for another two minutes. Set aside two-thirds of this mixture.
Incorporate the almond mixture and 2 teaspoons of lemon zest into the rest of the sugar. Roll out the dough, and cut into a star shape. Spread meringue and sprinkle leftover almonds over each cookie. Bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit until cookie bottoms are light brown.