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Here in the Slow Food USA offices, the weeks leading up to Christmas are marked by anticipation of, and then shortly thereafter consumption of, stollen. Fruitcake has been the butt of many jokes and the subject of much derision, but stollen–though both fruity and cake–is no ordinary fruitcake. It is German in origin (Dresden, circa 1450, or was it Torgau? Click here for an article debating the precise origins of stollen) but we buy it at our local French bakery, Almondine. We are not sure why this German treat is served alongside almond croissants and bouches de Noel, but we are not complaining; we cannot, as our mouths are full of stollen.

It is dense, but light.
It is cakey, but yeasty.
It is covered in a thick layer of powdered sugar.
And by Christmas eve, it is gone.
Only 11.5 months of waiting for the next ones.

There are still several hours until Christmas. If you don’t live near a bakery that makes stollen, there is still time to make your own!

For an LA Times article singing the virtues of homemade stollen, click here.

For a recipe and an account of the making, click here.