In Germany Christmas Stollen is the most traditional sweet bread existing. It is a heavy sweet bread loaf traditionally made from butter, yeast, curd, raisins and candied fruit peel. Besides of Lebkuchen it is the most important sweet at Christmas time. The “Dresdner Christstollen” and “Nürnberger Lebkuchen” are the most famous of all.

If you want to make a real good Christmas Stollen, you should actually bake it about 4-6 weeks before Christmas. As all kinds of spices like Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg are used for this bread, they need to develop their aroma during this time. Don’t be afraid that the Stollen would mold. As the ready Stollen is covered by a lot of powdered sugar it is kind of “conserved”. Just wrap the Stollen tightly in cling film and store it in a dry, cool and dark place. Before serving at Christmas, sprinkle some fresh powdered sugar over it.

If you do not have the time to make a traditional Christmas Stollen, try these muffins. They are easy and quickly  prepared and give at least a kind of Christmas smell to you kitchen.

What you need:

250 gr raisins
100 ml rum
500 gr self raising flour
1 package baking powder
150 gr sugar
1 vanilla sugar
250 gr grated almonds
150 gr candied lemon peel
100 gr candied orange peel
1 pinch of salt
½ tsp of Lebkuchen spices
200 gr melted butter
300 gr drained curd
250 ml milk
4 drops of bitter almond aroma
4 drops of orange aroma or the grated peel of one orange
2 eggs

200gr melted butter
Powdered sugar

How to prepare:

Mix the raisins with the rum and let stand until the raisins soaked the liquid.

In a large bowl mix the flour with the baking powder, sugar, vanilla sugar, almonds, spices and salt and mix well with a whisk. Add the candied peel and raisins (and orange peel) and stir well.

In a second bowl mix the butter, curd, milk, eggs and aromas and stir well. Add the mixture to the flour and stirr until all has been mixed well.

Prepare a muffin mold with muffin baking paper forms and fill appr. 2 tablespoons in each form.

Preheat the oven at 180ºC. Bake the muffins for appr. 20 minutes. Reduce the heat at 150ºC and bake another 20 minutes. Check with a wooden stick if the muffins are ready.

While still hot, brush each muffin with half of the melted butter and powder with some sugar. Let cool for appr. 10 minutes and repeat a second time.

When the muffins have cooled completely powder generously with the sugar.

If you have the time store the muffins in a plastic bowl and let stand for one day.

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