Stollen Spices

 

BY MONICA DIX .  FLORIDA . USA

Making Stollen-1

I’m trying to get rid of the fruitcake albatross of Christmas. My plan is to make Gen X the generation that forgot about fruitcake. This Stollen is so good, it will make you forget about fruitcake. But I can see why, as a baker, it’s tempting to make a rich, heady cake with ALL your favorite flavors. I think that is what the inventor of fruitcake was trying to do. But fruitcake is an evil, deceptive, dark sticky paste where Stollen is open, light and ethereal. Even if it is soaked in butter!

Since it was not a tradition in my family, I can tweak the recipe without fear of maternal wrath. So I infuse a little saffron, add some ground cloves and fennel seeds, and use dried fruits I would eat on their own: apricots, cherries, and cranberries. (Someday I will candy my own citron, I found some fresh–AKA Buddha’s Hand–at Whole Foods Market, and then eclipse the memory of the medicinal cubes available here.) This Christmas I will be sharing a lovely bread sweetened with honey and marzipan enlivened with a few of my favorite spices. Maybe I’ll add cardamom…

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