Stollen's richness is similar to that of brioche, but dried fruit makes it sweeter and gives it a more interesting texture. Serve this rich holiday treat in thin slices as breakfast bread or with afternoon tea. Like fruitcake, stollen improves with age and can be made up to three weeks in advance.
Chock-full of dried fruit, almonds, and spices, the German stollen is a dense bread that is traditionally oblong, symbolizing a swaddled infant. The history of stollen dates to 15th-century Dresden, where the first German Christmas market was held (a festival still honors it each year). The bread has evolved since then, gradually becoming richer and sweeter. In this version, a recipe from Martha's mother, Martha Kostyra, pieces of the dough are braided, letting drizzles of the icing pool in the baked loaf 's twists and turns.
German Zwiebelkuchen is almost a meal in itself and is relatively fast to make. It has a slightly sweet base, with a savory topping made from eggs, sour cream, onions, bacon, caraway seeds, and salt. The bottom is crisp and crunchy, the middle tender and spongy, and the topping succulent with juicy onions and bacon.
Mandelbrot comes from the German words for "almond" (mandel) and "bread" (brot). Our variation contains pecans instead of almonds. As with biscotti, the dough is partially baked, sliced, and baked again.
Links of Polish sausage are grilled to highlight their garlicky flavor. Sliced into small pieces, they contrast nicely with buttery Yukon gold potatoes with a light coating of grainy-mustard vinaigrette.
This is a great cake to make if you have extra apples in the house. If you don't have any apples, you can substitute peaches or plums.
From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).