Marzipan is a candy that gets a bad rap with many but is also very popular around Christmas. Basic marzipan is made from sugar and ground almonds and can have added flavors like pistachio and be covered in chocolate. Marzipan’s unique composition makes it perfect for shaping realistic figures that last a long time.
Stollen is a traditional Christmas bread laden with as much history as it has fruit and nuts. Since at least the 14th century, stollen has been a traditional German Christmas bread, known as Weinachtstollen or Christstollen at this time of year. It is a sweet bread made with cinnamon, nuts, and dried fruit. The fruit used can include raisins, currants, candied orange, and lemon. It’s not uncommon to find rum in the bread as well, and it is often covered in powdered sugar or icing. It is a dense bread, often weighing in around 4 pounds, although that can vary depending on the bakery
Since we’re all about Germany and Christmas this month, I thought it would be fun to try out a few German wines with German desserts to find the best pairings for you. And boy, did I! German desserts have both sweet and savory characteristics, which makes it fun to pair them with the large variety of German wines on the market. While there are tons of options when it comes to German desserts, I focused on three of the most iconic holiday desserts, that we’re also discussing on dessert day on the blog: lebkuchen, stollen, and marzipan.
Have you ever heard of lebkuchen? If you’ve spent time in Germany around the holidays, I’m guessing you have. For those of you who haven’t, lebkuchen are soft cookies made with honey, spices, and nuts. They’re often described as “German gingerbread,” but I think these are better than most gingerbread. The cookies are light and fluffy and they’re not overwhelmingly spiced. Unlike many cookies, these don’t get stale right away and can be kept fresh for months! The ones with “short” shelf lives are good for 6-8 weeks!
Mulled wine, or Gluhwein, is a classic winter drink in Germany. While it can be made in many forms, the basic drink is made with heated wine and spices like cinnamon and cloves. The hot drink and warmth of the spices is perfect for a cold winter day. The drink is often served at the famous German Christmas markets to keep cold shoppers warm as they do their Christmas shopping.