Gluten free Almond Cinnamon Heart Cookies that are perfect for Valentine's Day. These cookies are irresistibly chewy in the center with crisp edges and a crunchy meringue top!
Can someone pinch me, please? Christmas season really is behind us already isn't it? There are just about a couple more weeks until Valentine's Day!!
This must be a sign of me getting old(er). I remember a few years back, when my husband and I were still dating (long-distance), the time between Christmas and Valentine's Day seemed to stretch out forever.
You see, Konrad usually came to visit me in Kelowna over the Christmas holidays and I went to visit him the week of Valentine's Day because it always fell during reading break in university.
I almost feel nostalgic looking back, but I wouldn't wish these years back - being apart from the person with whom you are madly in love is never fun.
Making Heart-Shaped Cookies From a Classic German Recipe
This winter, I kind of missed out on a lot of Christmassy stuff. I was too busy running to the nearest bathroom with morning sickness that Christmas baking didn't even happen. I wasn't going to let the same happen for Valentine's Day. Cookie baking is on and in full force!
These cookies are derived from the German Christmas cookies called Zimtsterne. It literally means 'cinnamon stars'. So you can guess that I am deviating from tradition by making them into heart shapes for Valentine's Day. Woahh... I feel rebellious!
The traditional recipe is naturally gluten free as it uses only almond flour with a healthy punch of cinnamon. Wham! And it is also dairy-free since there is no butter or any other added fat. Bonus points.
Pink Meringue and Heart Glitter For An Added Valentine's Day Effect
These cookies have a wonderfully chewy texture in the center, with crisp edges and a beautiful meringue crunch on top. Of course, the star-shaped Christmas cookies don't usually have pink tops.
Coloring the meringue pink is just another way I am straying from the norm and rebelling to make these cookies fit for Valentine's Day. I even sprinkled some edible heart glitter on a few of the cookies. Edible... Heart... Lol. Don't get the wrong idea! These are confectionary treats!
I remember making Zimtsterne as a child in Germany, and I must admit that they were slightly difficult to make due to the dough being so sticky.
To my surprise, I didn't have any of these issues with this recipe that I found on the Seaside Baker's blog. I think the key is to use only as much of the meringue mixture as is needed to hold the dough together.
The Preparation Is Long, Albeit Totally Worth It
By the way - I should put a disclaimer in right now. These cookies are by no means fast to make. First, the rolled dough has to be chilled before cutting out shapes. Then, the cut cookies are brushed with or dipped in the meringue (I found dipping to be easier and cleaner).
Now the biggest bummer: the cut-and-dipped cookies have to dry anywhere from 3 hours to overnight before you can bake them.
Please, don't let that keep you from making these gluten free Almond Cinnamon Heart Cookies. They are entirely and totally worth it!! Enjoy your time with your loved ones this Valentine's Day! I know I will!
Valentine’s Cinnamon Heart Cookies (Zimtsterne) - Gluten & Dairy Free
- 1 ⅓ cups almond flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg white room temperature
- ½ tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- red food coloring or pink
- Beat the egg white with an electric mixer until stiff. Slowly add the powdered sugar on low speed until incorporated and meringue is glossy.
- Set ¾ of the meringue aside and cover. Fold the almond flour, cinnamon and almond extract into remaining meringue. If the mixture seems too dry, add more meringue one tablespoon at a time until a smooth dough ball forms.
- Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper about ¼ - ½ inch thick. Refrigerate dough disk for 1 hour.
- Cut out small heart (or other) shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Clean cookie cutter if it starts to stick.
- Colour the remaining meringue with a little red or pink food coloring. Either brush the meringue over the cookies or dip the cookies into the meringue and tap off excess. Dry cookies at room temperature from 3 hours to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 340 F and bake cookies for 7 minutes.
Recipe adapted from The Seaside Baker
More Gluten Free Recipes
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Almond flour can sometimes lack the binding properties of traditional wheat flour, leading to a crumbly texture. To improve the consistency, consider adding an extra binding agent such as eggs or a small amount of xanthan gum.
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Almond cookies are certainly well-loved, but whether they are considered "epic" depends on personal preference. They are cherished for their delightful nutty taste and satisfying texture.
Almond cookies typically consist of almond flour or ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites. They may also include additional flavorings such as almond extract or citrus zest for extra aroma.
While preferences vary, some of the most beloved cookies include classic chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, and peanut butter cookies. Each has its unique charm and a dedicated fan base.
Decorating heart cookies can be a fun and creative process. You can use royal icing in various colors to pipe intricate designs, sprinkle edible glitter or colored sugar, or use fondant to create intricate decorations.
In the game Cookie Clicker, you can typically obtain Valentine's cookies during seasonal events or special updates. Keep an eye out for in-game announcements and events to collect these limited-time treats.