Now, traditionally, stollen is made with some candied fruits and is covered in either powdered sugar or a powdered sugar glaze. For obvious reasons, this does not work for people trying to live sugar-free over the holidays! I do have something to confess: I had no idea what “stollen” was when my husband began to talk wistfully of the bread his family made every Christmas Eve (I realized later that I had seen the commercialized version of it that is usually sold in Germany–a German professor brought one in–but I didn’t realize it was the same thing when Sean was talking about it). However, he quite liked the tradition his family had concerning this bread, so I thought I’d give a shot to making it.

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Merry Christmas, everyone.  :-)  It’s been a busy few weeks for me; I was going to fall back on a post about tortillas, which I have all the pictures for, but I woke up the other day and the first thing I thought was, “Really, Jennifer?  Really?  You’re going to post about tortillas on Christmas Eve?  Forget that.  Post about sugar cookies.”  I had not ever in my life made sugar cookies from scratch, but this did not stop me!  After all, fools rush in where angels fear to tread, right? . . .
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I’ve heard of a lot of things called “Santa’s Thumb Prints” , and most of them are tasty. The only thing the recipes appear to have in common is that they all have a circle of jam dropped into the center of the cookie. The ones my mother makes are nutty and a nice brown color; the ones I had at a party the other day (called “Santa’s Thumb Prints” by the lady who brought them) were more like a sugar cookie dough and were mostly off-white. Both were extremely tasty, and I’m sure you’ve probably run across many other things that go by this name that aren’t quite like either of these examples. One way or the other, here is a natural-sugar version of this holiday cookie. I guess it falls somewhere between what my mother makes and the smooth sugar-cookie variety in texture and flavor. You’ll just have to give it a try and let me know what you think of it :-).

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