Marzipanstollen for a White Christmas

Marzipanstollen

White Christmases in the Pacific Northwest are rare, far in between, and possibly just a myth. So when Christmas presents no snow, one can simply make their own (and arguably, much sweeter) White Christmas with layers of powdered sugar.

Marzipanstollen

Marzipanstollen has always been a favorite holiday season food. It’s full of nuts, dried fruit and a log of marzipan, together making stollen a substantial, buttery snack for cold days. We’ve always purchased loaves from bakeries and stores, but when I found a cheap packet of marzipan earlier this season, I decided it was time to attempt baking it myself!

Marzipanstollen
Marzipanstollen
Adapted from David Lebovitz and Frugal Feeding.

Makes 4 mini loaves.

For the starter
1 envelope (0.25 oz, 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast
1/2 cup milk, warmed
1 cup flour

For the fillings
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup orange juice

1 cup walnuts, chopped

7 oz. marzipan (Potential sources: Odense or IKEA)

For the dough
3 cups four
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg yolk

To finish up
Powdered sugar, per individual preference: ~1/2 – 3/4 cup

Begin by preparing a starter: In a small bowl, combine and stir together warmed milk with yeast. Add 1 cup flour and stir until evenly mixed. Cover and leave to rise for one hour.

Meanwhile, combine raisins, dried cranberries and orange juice in a separate bowl. Cover and leave to sit for one hour.

After an hour has passed, combine 3 cups flour, salt, sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest and walnuts in a large bowl. Add in the vanilla extract, melted butter, honey and egg yolk, and mix until well-distributed. Mix in the starter, followed by the orange juice-soaked dried fruit mixture. Fear not, the dough should not be smooth, but rather a bit clumpy. Pour out contents of the bowl and knead the dough several times. Return dough to bowl, cover and leave to rise for one hour.

After another hour has passed, turn out the contents of the bowl and knead the dough several times. Return dough to bowl, cover and leave to rise for another hour.

After yet another hour has passed, line a baking tray with parchment paper. Then, pour out the contents of the bowl for the final time! Split the dough into four parts and form a ball out of each portion. Press dough into a circular disk on the baking sheet. Split your marzipan bar into four equal parts and roll each into a cylinder just as long as the the diameter of a single disk of dough. Press one marzipan cylinder into the center of one dough disk and roll up each disk — it should now resemble a very rough batard. Pinch the seams of the dough together and place the loaf on the baking sheet such that the seam is on the bottom. Repeat for the remaining three portions of dough. Cover and leave loaves to proof for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 40 minutes or until the tops of loaves are a dark, golden brown. Immediately dust with a generous helping of powdered sugar. Rub in the powdered sugar and then sprinkle another layer on top.

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