The tradition of Christmas stollen dates back to 14th century Germany.
The earliest sweeteners in this period were honey and dried fruits rather than sugar. Until the 17th century, sugar was an immensely scarce and precious commodity that trickled in from the Near East. Consequently, sweetness meant festivity and joy to the Europeans of old. The fruit bread “stollen” was the most popular of the early breads in Germany and was made only at Christmas, the time of greatest rejoicing.
Originally the confection was made without milk or butter because these items were forbidden by the Catholic church during Advent. That changed in 1450 when Pope Nicholas V signed the “Butter Document,” allowing bakers to use butter. It was much later when the use of milk was finally permitted.
In the years that followed, stollen was sometimes given as payment to feudal lords and a single loaf could weigh as much as 36 pounds. Often shaped into a cross, stollen became part of other various religious celebrations.
Stollen continues to be a holiday favorite. The most famous is the patented Dresden Stollen that features candied fruits,
raisins and currants. However, like Grandma’s family fruitcake, stollen recipes vary, each one containing a secret ingredient or a special technique that makes it unique.
Our stollen is made by hand in small batches under the direction of our most experienced bakers. Our unique recipe uses rum-soaked raisins, dates and pecans that are added to a dough of sweet butter and specially spiced flour. The mix is cut into rough loaves, wrapped around a marzipan center then baked to a golden brown. When cooled, each loaf is brushed with melted butter, rolled in sugar and placed onto trays to rest. To finish, we roll the stollen in New Schnee, or New Snow sugar.
Stollen improves with age and will stay fresh for weeks in a dry pantry or for months in the refrigerator or freezer. Each loaf is packaged in our own decorative holiday box for $26.95 and delivered with your personal greeting (shipping costs may vary).