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Germany is the land of Christmas, and in Christmas-land there is a sweet fruit and nut bread called stollen (pronounced shhto-len). It's akin to Italian panettone, but a bit denser, baked in a loaf and is topped with powdered sugar. I read the first recipe reference to this holiday favorite from Dresden was in the early 1300s. Here I gave in to the mini-muffin/cupcake craze and turned them into bite-sized treats that you could serve along holiday cookies and bars.
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Servings: 1 mini-cupcake (makes about 100)
Time: About 3 hours total; 30 minutes active
1 cup currants
1/2 cup dark rum or orange juice
1 cup milk, warmed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, semi-melted
1/4 cup honey, warmed slightly
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
1 package/scant 1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt and ground cinnamon, each
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup candied lemon and orange peel, diced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Powdered sugar, garnish
1. In a medium bowl, pour dark rum or orange juice over currants. Let sit 1-2 hours. Drain and set aside.
2. In a bread machine bowl, add wet ingredients (milk through egg). Then add 4 cups flour evenly over top. In three corners make little wells. Add yeast to one, salt to one and cinnamon and cardamom to the third. Cover over wells, and set the bowl in the bread machine. Start on dough setting.
3. When complete, punch dough down and add drained currants, candied peels, almonds and remaining 2 tablespoons flour.
4. Restart on dough setting. After 5 minutes, stop and turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes to make sure nuts and fruit are evenly distributed. Add dough to a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray, cover with a kitchen towel and put in a warm place for 1 hour to rise.
5. Divide dough into balls, and place in cooking spray-lined mini-muffin cups. Put in a warm place covered with a kitchen towel for 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on top.
7. Cool on a rack and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food, and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.