Today I want to share a recipe I have never made, but I have eaten it many times, and it is delicious!
For the past eight Christmases I have been blessed by one of my staff members who brings in loaves of this wonderful dessert bread every year. A couple of times she has made it with cinnamon chips for me. To keep me from eating the whole loaf, I usually freeze it and then take it to my in-laws for our family Christmas gathering. There is never any left over!
I asked her if she would give me the recipe this year so I could share it with you all and she agreed. I had no idea the recipe involved so much work! Now I feel even more blessed.
Although I’ve never made this before, I think I might try it this year during the week before Christmas because I am taking the week off to spend some time with my son and get some reading, writing, baking, and gift wrapping done. I’m afraid it might not turn out as good as what I’ve become accustomed to, but I’m going to give it a try.
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon mace
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
½ cup cold butter
¾ cup ground almonds*
1 cup cottage cheese
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons rum
¼ cup candied lemon or pineapple, or orange
½ cup currents and raisins
3 tablespoons melted butter
*(buy bulk slivered almonds and grind in a Cuisinart)
(I use a Cuisinart for this)
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, mace, cardamom and almonds. Cut the cold butter into pieces and blend into the flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
(In a blender)
Add cottage, cheese, egg, extracts, and rum. Blend till smooth. Add the candied fruit and blend just a few seconds to make the candied fruit into smaller pieces.
(Using a Kitchen Aid or big bowl)
Add the wet mixture and raisins to the flour mixture and mix together until all ingredients are moistened.
Mold into a ball, place on a floured surface and knead 6 to 10 times, until dough is smooth.
Roll dough out onto a floured surface to form an oval about 8 ½ x 10 inches. With rolling pin, lightly crease dough just off center. Brush dough with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Fold smaller section over larger. Place on parchment paper and onto cookie sheet.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until tests done in center and well browned. Brush with remaining melted butter and sprinkle top with sugar.
Serve warm or cool. Wrap air tight in foil to mellow for 2-3 days, or freeze. To reheat, wrap in foil and place in a 350° oven for about 30 minutes.