Thursday, December 25, 2008

Family Christmas Traditions: German Stollen

While growing up, each year my Grandma would to stay with us on Christmas and she would always bring her homemade German Stollen. This traditional bread would fuel our present-opening frenzy each Christmas morning. My brother and I were allowed to raid our stockings when we first awoke, but had to wait for the adults to emerge before we could go any further. As such we'd typically start ripping the wrapping paper as soon as the Stollen was sliced and coffee finished brewing.

This holiday bread is full of dried and candied fruits, nuts, and fruit zest. My Grandma's recipe contains: cardamom, currants, raisins, candied fruit mix (cherries, pineapple, citron), blanched almonds, and lemon and orange peel. She would also give it an offset fold that would give it a distinctive appearance. The light icing delights kid and adult alike. If you would like the recipe, write us a note and let us know.

So as not to disappoint my mother tried her hand at this recipe -- to my surprise -- for the first time ever! After a consulting my grandmother in southern California, she had the tips she needed to make a stollen that completely met the high bar of my lifetime of childhood memories. Christmas morning was complete! Not to be outdone I am happy to report that my grandma made two batches (six loaves) of stollen this year. Merry Christmas!