It’s stollen time, again. My Oma made it every year before she passed away and a few years ago, I decided to bring the tradition back to our family. My Oma didn’t have a recipe written down, so I did a lot of research looking at different “old school” German recipes and included the flavors my mom and I prefer, rum and almond. I also didn’t want any artificial ingredients like technicolor cherries. I use a combination of my favorite dried fruits: Thompson raisins, dried apricots, dried cherries and dried currants along with toasted slivered almonds. The dough is barely sweet, but studded with sweet dried fruit and a generous layer of powdered sugar on top.
The shape of the loaf took a little while to perfect because people shape their stollen in different ways. I found my favorite (and the most like my Omas) was rolling it into a dense little loaf. I’m always trying new recipes and can easily get bored in the kitchen, but this tradition is comforting and nostalgic.
Last year and this year, I made stollen with my friend, Nancy. We affectionately call it our stollen workshop. We split up the ingredients and use her kitchen. She has a double oven and a dishwasher which makes it all easier. Our mixers hum side by side with a double batch in each bowl. In a few hours we have freshly baked stollen, which we enjoyed this year while watching Home Alone.
Thanks for letting me share my stollen with you each year. I’m just about to toast up a piece for breakfast.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your families!