It’s not often that I totally and completely screw something up – but when I do, I really do it big-time!  Welcome to one of those times!

A friend of ours gave us her Oma’s Christmas Stollen recipe last year and I’ve thought of making it ever since.  Thought of it.  I hadn’t made it.  On Thursday, in the midst of baking Christmas Cookies, making candy, and being my festive little self, I decided it was time to make it.  (I also want to make a traditional Christmas Pudding and about a bazillion other things, but we can only haul so much stuff up to North Jersey.)  But I digress…

I had all the ingredients (no big surprise here) and decided to make a half-recipe.  Even I couldn’t eat 8 loaves of Stollen.

I am not sure exactly what went wrong, but the dough just never came together right.  I’ll use the excuse that I was interupted a couple of times, but I just wasn’t paying attention when I started out the mixing.  The recipe calls for lots of butter and it just never incorporated with the flour right.  It was heavy.  It was greasy.  It wasn’t right.  I had never made this recipe before, but I’ve made enough different doughs to know when one is “smooth and elastic” and when it’s tough and greasy.  This one was not smooth and elastic.  But Mr. Determination had to follow it through.  I did the first pitiful rise, and then formed into loaves and did the second.  Pitiful.  Recipe says 350F for 35 minutes.  At 55 minutes it wasn’t baked inside.

The loaves spread forever but didn’t rise as I imagined they should have.  It smelled fabulous.  It wasn’t baked inside.  I tried to convince myself it tasted great.  The following morning, Victor toasted two slices for breakfast.  It was okay, but it wasn’t Stollen.  We tossed them.  I conceded defeat – for the moment.

Saturday dawned, and I decided I was going to make them, again.  I was not about to let a supposedly fabulous recipe get the better of me.  Am I ever glad I did!

I followed the recipe once again.  This time I paid attention.  I worked the dough.  I made sure the flour incorporated correctly.  It was night and day different.  Smooth and elastic.  Silken perfection.  Rise.  Form.  Rise, again.  Into the oven.


Exactly 35 minutes later, they were ready.  Rich, light, buttery heaven!  We pretty much devoured one on the spot.  And two of them are hading up with us to North Jersey.

Merry Christmas, indeed!

And speaking of Merry Christmas, the cookies are done, as well!  I made up a huge tray for work, today, and have started on trays for the neighbors…
Cookie Trays

And I am going to have to work twice as hard at the Gym… I’ve been eating an awful lot of them…

Cookie Trays