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
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.