Every year on Christmas Eve, my dad runs to the nearby bakery to pick up a Christmas stollen. Stollen is basically a German fruitcake, made with dried fruit, nuts and spices. When eaten fresh, it’s a tasty treat. But beware, it can dry out in a few days and then you are cursed with a hard brick of a loaf that no one wants to eat.
This year, I have decided to surprise my Dad, go back to my German roots and make my very own Christmas Morning Stollen.
- 1 package of mixed golden raisins and cherries
- 1/2 C. Cherry Juice
- 2 TBSP rum
- 1/2 C. slivered almonds
- 2/3 C. whole milk
- 6 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1/3 C. sugar
- Grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 3 C flour
- 1 envelope rapid rise yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Combine dried fruit, cherry juice and rum in saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and stir. Cover and let sit overnight until fruit is plumped. Toast almonds on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Turn off oven.
Place milk, 4 TBSP butter and sugar in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and add orange and lemon zest. Stir to dissolve sugar. Set aside to cool.
Butter large mixing bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, or large bowl with electric hand mixer, mix 2 C. flour, yeast, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon until blended. Gradually add milk mixture, mixing on low setting. Slowly add eggs until soft dough forms. Turn off mixer. Add fruit, leftover juices and almonds. Continue to mix on low. Add remaining cup of flour until soft dough forms. Turn out dough on lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place in buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Melt 2 TBSP of butter and brush over hot loaves. Transfer to wire cooling rack, cool completely. Dust heavily with powdered sugar before serving. Can be served with butter or jam.
I hope my dad enjoys this home-baked German treat!
Merry Christmas everyone! Or as they say in Germany, Frohe Weihnachten!