The holidays have clearly put the royal household in the giving mood. Queen Elizabeth’s personal pastry chefs shared the palace’s go-to cinnamon star cookie recipe on Instagram, just in time for Christmas cookie swaps and holiday gatherings.

"Want to make your own 'Cinnamon Stars'?" reads the post's caption. (Um, yes, yes we do.) "The Royal pastry chefs at Buckingham Palace are excited to share their recipe with you."

As you can see from their follow-along recipe video, these aren’t your average cookies. They’re ornate, they involve meringue (fancy!) and they last up to two months if stored in an airtight tin.

First, the cookie dough is flavored with ground almonds, cloves, citrus peels and a lot of cinnamon. Once it's rolled out, it's topped with a thin, smooth layer of meringue. Cookie cutters are used to punch out the cookies, then they're baked so the meringue and dough can harden. Finally, the cookies are finished with more tiny icing details until they're fit to serve the Queen. Even if you *don't* have the cookie decorating chops to pull these over-the-top cookies off, it'll still be fun to attempt icing them (and even more fun to eat them).

If you, like us, are totally into the idea of spending Christmas like the royal family, follow along for the recipe, courtesy of Her Majesty and co.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup mixed lemon and orange peels
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2¼ cup ground almonds
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

1. Purée or chop the mixed peel into a paste-like texture using a food processor and set aside.

2. Then, whip the icing sugar and egg whites with lemon juice into a soft peak meringue. Take one-third of the mixture out and keep it aside to top the dough with in a thin layer later.

3. Add the remaining ingredients into the larger part of meringue and combine until it turns into a dough-like material.

4. Knead the dough together with your hands and flatten it onto a lined baking sheet. Placing a sheet of parchment paper on top and roll down the dough to about 1 centimeter in thickness.

5. Remove paper from the top and spread a thin layer of meringue over the dough. Keep it as smooth as possible.

6. Rest the sheet of dough in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.

7. Remove the dough from the fridge and start cutting it into shapes with a knife or cookie cutters. Be creative. Stars and diamond shapes work well. To use the cinnamon star cutter or round cutter, a bowl of hot water is required. Dip the cutter into the water first and in between cutting the shapes. This helps to release the cookie easily from the cutter.

8. Bake in the oven at 320°F for 12 to 15 minutes. If possible, it’s best to bake with bottom heat only so that the top stays white and does not discolor. The cookie is done when you are able to gently lift the edges off the paper. The center should still be soft and sticky.

9. Let cool for about 30 minutes before removing the cookies from tray.

10. Spread holiday cheer with your new creations.

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