The Nettle & Quince Christmas baking page

Stollen

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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)

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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

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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, here, cranberries, pecans, and orange blossom water.

Quince pastes

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My favorite sweets. What can I say? No more.

Swiss aniseed Chräbeli

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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.

Candied orange and lemon peel

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Finally, 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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