My Quick Almond Stollen

Sunday December 7, 2014

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dried pineapple or candied orange peel
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or mixture raisins and currants
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, exact measure
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Frangelico nut liqueur or Amaretto
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 ounces marzipan (such as Odense brand), rolled into a rope (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
  • Sifted powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

In a small bowl, place the dried fruit and boiling water; cover (If you use the candied orange peel, you dont need to soak that).  Set aside 3 hours to overnight at room temperature on the counter to cool and , plump. Drain the plumped dried fruits  and turn out on a double layer of paper towels and pat them dry; toss with the 2 tablespoons of the flour.

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Combine the almonds and 1 cup of the flour in a food processor.  Process until fine to make an almond flour.   Combine the remaining flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Add the egg, liqueur, vanilla, and almond extracts; beat until smooth.  On low speed add the dried fruits.  Add the almond-flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time; a stiff batter will be formed.

Turn the stiff batter out onto a floured work surface and knead gently a few times to pull it together (like for scone or biscuit dough). Pat into a thick oval 10 inches long and 8 inches wide.  Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Make a crease down the center of the oval lengthwise with a chopstick or blunt edge of a knife and lay the rope of marzipan on the crease. Without stretching, fold from the long edge over to within 3/4-inch of the opposite side (it will be slightly off center), forming a long, narrow loaf with tapered ends.  The fold will be offset leaving a lower lip and marzipan completely covered. Press the top edge lightly to seal.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Immediately upon removing from the oven, brush lightly with melted butter and sprinkle lightly all over with powdered sugar.  Let cool on the baking sheet.  Dust again with powdered sugar before serving.

Cut the Stollen from its center outwards to its ends. Cut off only as much as you intended to eat at a given time. You can prevent the Stollen from drying up by keeping the remaining two halves “pushed together” at the centre.

Makes 1 large loaf.

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Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2014

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.


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