Holly B’s Stollen

December 2, 2009


If you have been following this blog for a while, you may wonder what happened to Holly B’s Tuesdays.  I took a self-imposed hiatus for the craziness of the last two weeks.  I just didn’t think I could pile another cooking or baking responsibility on top of everything else I had going on.  But I am back on track with a new recipe, albeit one I have not tasted.

The wonderful bakery that is Holly B’s is not open during the winter.  Holly packs her family up and they head to the mountains sometime around the end of October and return to Lopez Island and the bakery sometime in the spring.  So I have never tasted her Christmas Stollen or her Gingerbread Men which will be featured here next week.  I have no doubts that they, along with just about everything else she makes, are delicious.  That is why I don’t hesitate to post this recipe even though I have never tasted it or tried to make it before.  I love things that can be kept in the freezer and Holly herself says that she bakes 25 each season and sends them to loved ones.  What else do we need to say?

One Year Ago:  Breton Apple Pie

With Love & Butter
Makes 1 large loaf

It is hard to tell from the photo, but the loaf is about the size and shape of an American football.  Holly says that on Christmas morning she slices the Stollen, wraps it in foil, and heats it in a 325°F oven for 35 minutes.  Do not be intimidated by this recipe.  I put it together and got it in the oven while I was waiting for my 2.75 year old to finish his snack.

3/4 cup whole natural almonds
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for kneading and shaping the dough
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cardamom
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
2 tbsp. rum
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the center position.  Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment or grease lightly.

Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until finely chopped.  Set aside.  Replace the food processor bowl without washing.

Dump the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, spices, and butter into the food processor bowl.  Pulse until the butter is ut into the flour and reduced to pea-sized bits.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Sit in the finely chopped almonds, currants, and raisins.

Again replace the food processor bowl without washing.  Add the cottage cheese.  Process until pureed, then add the egg, rum, vanilla, and almond extracts, and lemon zest.  Process until smooth.  Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and combine well.  Turn the dough onto a floured surface, scraping the bowl to get out any remaining bits.

Flour your hands and the dough.  Gently knead the dough into a round mound, then flatten int ot disk about 8 inches across and 1 inch thick.  Fold the dough into a taco shape, but with one ege not quite meeting the other.  Place on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake the Stollen 20 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake another 20 to 30 minutes until a paring knife inserted between the “taco” edges comes out clean of gooey batter.  The top should be golden and bottom butterscotch brown.  Brush the hot Stollen with the melted butter and sprinkle the sugar on to coat (this seals the loaf for storage).  Remove to a rack.  When completely cool, wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and store, freeze, or package for shipping.


  1. Oh, stollen! My sister and I make a Quark version from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s HomeBaking every year. With all the soaking, resting and rising it’s quite a feat and takes almost a whole day, but it makes 4 big loaves, which we give away to various aunts/uncles. Since stollen is best after it “sits” awhile, we usually make ours on the 23rd and bust it out for breakfast on Boxing Day. I love it toasted with butter!

    Comment by Ele — December 2, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  2. Are you going to taste this?
    I LOVE stollen. I love a marzipan center, I always buy it and everyone makes fun of me….it’s kind of like fruit cake.
    I don’t care what they say about me.
    The cottage cheese in the middle is a nice ingredient.
    Taste it already!

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — December 2, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  3. I never thought about making stollen, but I think you’ve just changed my mind! If it’s delicious AND easy, why not just make it oneself, right?

    Comment by D. @ Outside Oslo — December 2, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

  4. Stollen is one of my all time favorite things. I used to go to Germany every year at xmas time and I LIVED on it while I was there. Thank you! I am definitely going to make this! Also, let’s do coffee at the new French cafe in Ballard???!!!!

    Comment by redmenace — December 2, 2009 @ 9:54 pm

  5. I have always wanted to make stollen but haven’t. Thanks for the reminder. Yours looks wonderful and perfect for the holidays!

    Comment by Maria — December 2, 2009 @ 11:12 pm

  6. This looks wonderful. I will make one to send to my parents this Christmas. Do you know how much ground almonds the whole ones make? I don’t have a food processor so I buy already ground almonds. Thanks!

    Comment by kickpleat — December 2, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

  7. Just DELICIOUS… Makes me want to bake and sink my teeth in one right now!

    Comment by Viviane Bauquet Farre / food & style — December 2, 2009 @ 11:50 pm

  8. I’ve been thinking I’d like to try making stollen or panetone this year. Looks delicious!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — December 3, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

  9. I haven’t made stollen in ages! I may just have to whip up this Christmas!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Comment by Biz — December 3, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

  10. Have you tasted it yet? What’s the verdict? If it tastes anything like it looks, that’s a good sign. I love Christmas breads like this but have never made one. Thanks for the inspiration…

    Comment by The Leftoverist — December 4, 2009 @ 12:46 am

  11. I’ve never tried Stollen before, I was surprised about the cottage cheese, is that a standard ingredient?

    Comment by Jacqueline — December 4, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

  12. That stollen looks incredible! I call it “crack bread” because last year a friend in Pastry School made me a loaf and I consumed the whole loaf in 2 days!

    Comment by Laura (Alwaysroom4dessert) — December 4, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

  13. This stollen recipe is delicious! I made it the other day, and highly encourage others to try it, too. Compared to a stollen recipe I saw in one of my cookbooks, this one is incredibly simple, yet impressive.

    When serving it, I first tried pouring additional rum over it, which turned out quite well. Then I paired it with a glass of bourbon, and was quite happily surprised with how the two things mingled in my mouth.

    Needless to say, whether you’re serving it on its own or looking for a way to dress it up, this recipe is a keeper.

    Comment by D. @ Outside Oslo — December 6, 2009 @ 10:14 am

  14. I’ve never been a huge fan of stollen, but I think that’s because of the marzipan that’s in the middle of the one my mom buys. This one sounds delicious! I’m impressed how quickly it came together for you.

    Comment by Ashley — December 22, 2009 @ 1:10 am

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