Contrary to its name, the name for these cookies came about on a hot summer day while we were swimming at a lake in Berlin with a few of our friends. I’d made these cookies, which I told the group I thought looked like small stones. And upon tasting them our friends, Mandy and Franzi, said that the flavor reminded them of Weihnachten, which means Christmas in German. So from that point on, I’ve called them Weihnachten Stiene or Christmas Stones. I think calling them by their German name makes them feel more authentically Christmas-like. These whole-wheat snickerdoodle-like cookies have a slightly crunchy exterior but are chewy on the inside and are generously glittered with cinnamon and sugar.
Weihnachten Steine — Christmas Stones
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
2 cups sugar , plus extra for rolling baked cookies into
¼ cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus extra for rolling baked cookies into
¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature, 8 ounces
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup powdered sugar, for rolling baked cookies into; optional
In a medium mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and honey. Then, add the egg and mix until the egg is well incorporated. Set the butter mixture aside. Then, in a separate bowl, sift together the flours, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon. Then with the mixer on low, add the flour to the butter until well incorporated. (You may want to add a tablespoon of water if you feel the mixture is too dry and difficult to mix) Then form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
When you’re ready to bake off the cookies start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough into ¾” – 1” balls. They don’t have to be perfectly round or the same shape. Imperfections will help them look more like stones. Place the balls on a cookie sheet at least 2” apart from one another. Bake them in the oven for exactly 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and carefully place the cookies onto a cooking rack.
Roll the cooled cookies in cinnamon, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, or a combination of all three. Allow them to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
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