Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Stollen

Whenever I've seen "stollen" in stores at Christmastime, I have been infatuated. I always wondered about it--why it's around at Christmas, what it tastes like, where it comes from, etc. So today, when I went onto the King Arthur website and they had an "easy" recipe for stollen, I decided to make it right away.

It turns out that stollen is a German type of fruit cake. It's usually made with a yeast dough, several kinds of dried fruits or nuts, and then covered in powdered sugar or icing. The earliest known mention of a stollen is from Germany in 1474. The shape and look of a stollen is supposed to remind people of the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. (How sweet is that?)

It was very easy to make--and very yummy. This recipe uses baking powder instead of yeast, so it's much faster to make and has a more cake-like texture. The smell of it baking was wonderful, and two little boys I know gobbled down pieces with their hot cocoa in record time.

I guess the Christmas baking season begins....Merry Christmas!!!