The Nettle & Quince Christmas baking page



I’ve been known to skip every other Christmas cookie or confection, but Stollen is the one thing I always make. Sometimes at the very last minute — barely a day or two before Christmas — often all through the night. It takes hours but I always steal the time.

Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars)


They are my absolute favorite. I used to dislike making them because the dough is intractably sticky and difficult to handle when shaping the cookies, but the loss would simply be too great.

Almond and currant cookies


On the other hand, these are the easiest to make and they use up the egg yolks from the Zimtsterne! The dough is excellent and can easily be adapted to all sorts of different flavors — I’ve made versions with cardamon, with pistachio and saffron, and, pictured here, cranberries, pecans, and orange flower water.


Indispensable flourless Lebkuchen cookies from Nuremberg.

Quince pastes


My favorite sweets — need I say more?

Swiss aniseed Chräbeli


These little ‘footed’ branches were not exactly part of our family canon, and I don’t make them every time, but they remind me of Switzerland where I celebrated every Christmas during my childhood. What a shame it would be to miss them.

Basler Brunsli

The missing touch of chocolate for my Christmas baking collection. A naturally gluten- and dairy-free cookie from Switzerland, where my childhood Christmas nostalgia is nestled.

Candied orange and lemon peel

Sometimes, if I am extremely well organized or despair of finding decent candied peel for the Stollen, I make my own. And one day, perhaps, I will manage to coat them in chocolate.

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