As a practicing Jew I don’t celebrate Christmas, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. The lights, the songs, the cheer, the gift-giving…it’s such a beautiful holiday. But what I love most is the food.
My family is German and my grandparents on my father’s side owned supermarkets in Munich. Every year just before Christmas they would send us a big box filled with all the delicious sweets that are made only around Christmas time. My favorite was always, always stollen. For those not familiar, stollen is a fruit bread made with nuts, spices, and dried fruit, coated with powdered sugar or icing. Yes, it’s considered a bread which is why as a kid I reasoned that I should be able to eat it whenever and as much of it as I wanted. You don’t see it often in NYC and my grandparents past away nearly two decades ago so I haven’t had some in forever which is why there was a special excitement when I came across Bien Cuit.
The bakery ships and offers pickup on the most amazing treats, including stollen, which they make with only recognizable ingredients – zero fillers. That’s not to say that the bread (aka cake) is a health food, but with Bien Cuit at least you’re getting exclusively recognizable ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, milk, butter, sugar, poached cranberries, toasted pistachios, candied orange, almonds.
They also have Buche de Noel, which is another sweet treat I grew up with going to the Lycee Francais de New York for all of my pre-college schooling. It’s basically a chocolate covered sponge cake in shape of a log. Like I said, I’m Jewish, but I love all holidays and I couldn’t think of anything more fun than introducing something new and delicious to my friends this year when I’m invited for holiday parties. And, because I can’t think of anything worse than eating something I bake, I’m loving the options I’m seeing at Bien Cuit. Goldbelly also has some tasty looking ones.
For those looking to get stollen that will last a bit longer (read: stock-up now as they won’t be sold for much longer!), checkout Kuchenmeister, which translates to “cake master.” As far as supermarket buys go, they take the cake and if sealed they’ll last months. Honestly I’ve eaten a day’s worth of calories in one sitting their cakes are so good. My favorites are the ones with marzipan, which you can also get online.