Stollen

For Christmas last year, our neighbor made us her family’s Christmas Cake.  It was delicious.  I love homemade treats around the holidays so I really appreciated her Christmas Cake and asked her if she would like me to make her stollen.  She said yes!  This week was the week to make her stollen.  This recipe comes from my mom’s friend, Gisela Dunn, who used to make and then send stollen in the mail at Christmastime.  oh what a treat!  My mom and I would enjoy it over a cup of coffee in the kitchen.  This stollen goes well with just about anything but Gisela recommends a slice of stollen with a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Stollen

2 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon mace

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup ground blanched almonds

1/2 cup cold butter

1 cup small curd cottage cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons rum

1/3 cup currants

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup chopped lemon and orange peel (I zest the lemons and oranges)

Topping

3 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons vanilla sugar

powdered sugar for dusting if you like

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, mace, cardamom and almonds.  Cut in butter with pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  In a separate smaller bowl, blend together thoroughly – cottage cheese, egg, vanilla, almond extract, rum, currants, raisins, and orange/lemon zest.  Stir in flour mixture until all ingredients are moistened.

Mold dough into a ball and place on floured board.  Knead 6-10 turns or until dough is smooth.  Roll dough out on floured board to form an oval about 8 1/2 by 10 inches with rolling pin.  Lightly crease dough just off center, parallel to the 10 inch side.  Brush dough with one tablespoon of butter.  Fold smaller section over larger section, at the crease.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet which is covered with with brown paper (unused brown bag cut open to form a flat surface, must remove the base).  Bake in a moderate oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until crust is well browned and bread tests done in center.

Brush with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.  Serve warm or cool on wire rack.  Wrap airtight to mellow for two to three days, or freeze.  Slice to serve.  Makes one large loaf.

Sweet Notes:  As a last layer, you can dust the stollen with powdered white sugar if you like.  This represents the snow in Germany.  🙂

Credit:  Gisela Dunn

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