As Josh and I have built our lives together, we have been impacted by each of the communities in which we live and by each of the families with which we have built lasting friendships. One of the significant ways that I perceive how much another person has influenced by life is by how his or her traditions have affected my holiday traditions.

One traditional food that my parents raised me on is Christmas Stollen, a German sweet bread filled with dried fruit and marzipan and dusted with powdered sugar. It’s dense, sweet, and rich. It was born to foil a dark, chocolatey-rich coffee. My parents love it, and I’m addicted to it.

I have searched for it every year, and this year, I found it at the Cost Plus World Market store, a nationwide company based in California. Henry Alvidres, Visual Merchandising Assistant Manager for Cost Plus World Market, shared with me that Cost Plus searches the world for specialty items that they can offer their customers to bring a little bit of the world into their homes.

Stollen makes a nice alternative to the much-mocked fruit cake, because it’s not quite as dense or sticky, but it offers a perfect amount of dried fruit and sweet marzipan filling to satisfy fruit cake lovers. The wrapped loaf makes a good gift or party favor, so I brought it to my Seattle Culinary Academy end of year holiday party. A few of my classmates kindly provided some thoughts:

Todd E: It is moist with a prominent raisin/sultanta taste. It almost has an apple pie-like quality to it because the marzipan is moist and sweet. The bread is not dry at all.

Brad P: Quite divine. Tastes like your uncle makes it (*I think he meant that it tastes homey*) Tastes like bread pudding but not as moist and not like a pudding.

Rob V: It’s the Christmas food made by the German grandma that I never had.

Joking aside, the Stollen is rich and satisfying. One slice is definitely all you need to bring  sense of Christmas to your dinner or dessert table. At less than $10 per loaf, it’s an affordable, impressive, and easy dessert that takes the stress away and bring a little bit of German tradition to your party.

Find World Market locations near you and be sure to keep an eye out for Stollen next fall!