Zimsterne; silence

I had thought that Zimsterne were a Swiss cookie…. At least, that’s what my mother told me. She had a Swiss grandmother.

But borders were a bit blurred back then, around and before WWI. When I looked up the origin of the cookie I discovered it could be Swiss or German or Alsatian – which would make it either German or French depending on the year.

Whatever, they’re delicious.

And light.

By light I don’t necessarily mean low in fat and calories, although they are. I mean light as a feather. I think it’s due to the eggs plus rather a lot of baking powder.

Combined with the ‘light’ spiciness these are a delicate cookie – and my personal favorite.


Total time: 1 hour


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts



  • Pre-heat oven, 375F (190C)
  • Cream butter, sugar, 2 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk and lemon juice.
  • Stir dry ingredients together, then stir into creamed sugar.
  • Stir in walnuts.
  • Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll out to app. 1/16″ thick on a floured board.  Dough is a bit sticky.
  • Cut with a star cutter and place on a greased baking sheet.
  • Whisk egg white until frothy and brush the tops of the cookies.
  • Bake at 375F (190C) 6 – 8 minutes or until very lightly brown.
  • Remove and cool completely.

Print Recipe

This is the last of my Christmas cookie recipes for this year.

Two others that I’ve posted in the past are mon mari’s favorite Lemon Bars and one for the true chocoholic: Triple Chocolate, Chocolate Chunk.

As to the silence….

I had an errand to run this morning. When I cam back the big fuel truck was partially blocking our little one lane road. The 2 huge dump trucks were lined up waiting to be filled up and the grater and backhoe were making their way across the field to do the same.

I inched around the lot, got home and told mon mari that I would be glad when they were finally done.

A few hours later there was silence…. Total silence.

No reverse horns beeping, the backhoe wasn’t digging, the dump trucks had quit dumping and the grater was no longer grating…. They were all sitting at the top of the hill.

They were done.

We won’t be woken up in the dark tomorrow morning with the guys coming to work and firing up the equipment. I’ll be able to walk the dogs in peace with no heavy equipment circling us.

It’s done. The lake is finished.

Of course all of the equipment is sitting next to our little lane waiting for transport so that should entertain us for another few hours…. Obviously, the dump trucks can leave under their own power but even they have to wait for the escort vehicles as they are so big.

Now we wait for the rains.

Last update on December 9, 2015

4 thoughts on “Zimsterne; silence”

  1. I’m guessing I can make these without the walnuts? I can’t imagine it changing the flavor that much. But I need to make them just because 🙂

    I’m glad it’s quiet again, for the time being at least. It will be interesting to see what happens now over time with the lake.

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