Sunday, December 25, 2016

Festive Baking - The Sultan´s Stars

Wishing all of you my friends and faithful readers and all of your families a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Or as we say around here "Frohe Weihnachten und Festtage!" These festive times would not feel right without a little sweet recipe from my kitchen.

Of course, for obvious reasons, stars are a very popular choice for Holiday creations and I was inspired to bake my lovely Sultan' s Stars during our recent visit to an amazing Medieval Christmas market.

For my Sultan´s Stars you need to make a simle rich dough raised with yeast. The dough is flavored with butter, vanilla and lemon zest. To finish the stars, I brushed them with some egg yolk mixed with a bit of milk and topped them with thinly sliced almonds (you could also opt for chopped ones) and pearl sugar. They were a delicious addition, as they toast during baking to provide some crunch and flavor contrast.

I also added a small handful of raisins and sultanas to add some additional sweetness to the dough. Entirely optional, of course, but this is a nice addition if you enjoy dried fruits in your baked goods. I am pleased to say this all worked very well, and the result is an easy, fun recipe that will leave you with light, sweet and fragrant festive stars to enjoy during the holidays.

Sultan´s Stars

  • 500g strong flour or use AP (plain) flour
  • 30g fresh yeast
  • 1/4 l tepid milk
  • 50g butter, unsalted, melted
  • 50g superfine (baking) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg (M), free range or organic 
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • zest of half a lemon (organic/untreated)
  • a handful of sultanas and/or raisins
  • 1 egg yolk (M), free range or organic mixed together with 1 tbsp milk
  • slithered almonds (or use chopped almonds)
  • a bit or pearl sugar

  1. Sieve the flour in a bowl and form a pit.
  2. Put the crumbled yeast in the pit of the flour, add the milk to the yeast and stir together.
  3. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.
  4. Add the butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, egg, salt, and lemon zest to the flour mixture and knead for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth dough.
  5. Add the raisins/sultanas if using and kneed some more.
  6. Transfer the dough to a greased medium bowl.
  7. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm place until it has doubled in volume (for another 60 minutes).
  8. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper (or use your Silpat baking mats).
  9. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a well-floured work surface and use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out as many stars as possble.
  10. Cover the stars and let them rise again for 15 minutes.
  11. Preheat your oven to 200°C (392°F).
  12. Brush with the beaten egg yolk/milk mixture and sprinkle with almonds and pearl sugar.
  13. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden.
  14. Let them cool on a cooling rack and enjoy. They are best eaten while still warm.

These Sultan´s Stars should be enjoyed with steaming glasses of your favorite tea, strong coffee, cocoa or a homemade mulled wine (Glühwein) that you spiced with cinnamon, cloves and star anise or even warm grape or apple juice. I would also quite happily much on one of these on a chilly winter evening too!

Hope you are spending a peaceful Christmas & Holidays with family and friends!
Ich wünsche euch ein schönes und besinnliches Weihnachtsfest und Feiertage im Kreise all eurer Lieben!


  1. Sooo schoen, dein Sternenteller! Ein besinnliches Weihnachtsfest und ein gesundes und friedvolles neues Jahr wuensche ich dir!

    1. Liebe Wally, das wünsche ich auch auch, von ganzem Herzen!
      Herzliche Grüße,

  2. This was a lovely post to wake up to this morning, Andrea. Your Sultan´s Stars look delicious as have all your posts during the holiday season. Well done. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family. Hugs from America

    1. Dear Mary, we are all so very busy before Christmas but there always seems to be time to post another cookies recipe - I bake and cooked so much that I even lost my momentum and had no energy left to post much but I promise to improve my blogger duties in the coming year!
      Love and all the very best for peaceful and healthy holidays!

  3. Wishing you and your wonderful family the merriest of Christmas days.

    1. Dear Karen, a very Merry Christmas and all the very best to you and yours as well!

    2. I hope you and your family have a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year.

  4. Truly lovely star cookies! Frohe Weihnachten to you all, as well! And, of course, wishing you all the best for 2017! Liebe Grüße, David

    1. Dear David, hope you spent a lovely Christmas with family and friends!
      Hopefully we will have a chance to meet again in the coming Year, who knows?!
      All the best to Mark and you!
      Andrea & Co.

  5. How yummy! Love the yeast dough and dried fruit together. Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

  6. Happy Holidays Andrea, you certainly have been baking up a storm, love these little stars!

  7. Andrea, I hope your family had the best Christmas!! Best wishes for the new year.... These cookies are beautiful and I just know they are delicious too! As always, I enjoyed your beautiful photos!!

  8. Wishing you a very Happy New Year and hope your Christmas was joyful! Your Sultan's Stars look like a delightful holiday treat!!! xoxo

  9. Spectacular, amazing, fabulous photos, Andrea.

    Happy 2017. xxx

  10. Such beautiful photos and lovely cookies, Andrea! I wish you a wonderful new year!