Tea Time Treats is a new challenge jointly hosted by Kate at What Kate Baked and Karen at Lavender and Lovage. Obviously the baking side of treats for tea time is what appeals to me, but anything that could possibly be eaten at tea time can be entered into the challenge, which gives a pretty wide remit. Each month there will be a theme for the challenge and in December what better theme could this month's host, Kate, pick than Christmas?
The recipe was straightforward and quick to follow, so within an hour of starting to assemble the ingredients, I had a fragrant tray of stollen cooling on the counter, ready for brushing with melted butter. The only forethought required is to get the butter, cream cheese and egg out of the fridge to bring to room temperature. As I didn't expect to have to keep the bars a long time, I only used about 25g of butter to
When it came to cutting and tasting, I was glad I had kept in the sultanas, as the flavours of orange and pistachio are very delicate and would have been overwhelmed by dried cranberries. I loved finding such large pieces of marzipan nestled within the bars. The texture of the bars is hard to describe - it's somewhere between a cake and a biscuit, doughy like a bread but quite light and open textured too. After a night's sleep I realised that what it most reminded me of was biscotti dough before the second baking!
I'm sure these will be repeated, although I already have two bought Stollens stashed away for Christmas and New Year. Hubs liked them, but he didn't think they matched up to a traditional stollen so I might need to call them something different next time. I thought they were comparable, in texture, to some of the stollens I've bought in the past, but not as good as a slice of stollen with a really big piece of marzipan in the centre, which is what Hubs missed most too, I think! However, for a homemade treat, these are quick, unlike yeast dough, and successful, unlike most of my attempts at yeast dough.