Stollen (Christmas Danish)

Cook’s notes: This recipe is from my maternal grandmother. Makes 3 Danish. The frosting recipe is from I like it with almond extract instead of just vanilla. Grammie’s original recipe just said “Make confectioner’s sugar frosting.”

3.5 to 6.5 cups unsifted flour
1/2 cup sugar
1.25 tsp salt
2 pkgs Fleishman’s active dry yeast  (Note: One package = 2-1/4 teaspoons = 1/4 ounce dry yeast)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup margarine
3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup Planters blanched almonds
3/4 cup mixed candied fruits
1/3 cup golden seedless raisins

Confectioner’s sugar frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and undissolved Fleishman’s active dry yeast.

Combine milk, water, and margarine in a pan. Heat over low heat until liquids are warm. The margarine does not need to melt. Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour or enough to make a stiff batter. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until double in bulk, about 1.5 hours.

Combine blanched almonds, candied fruits, and raisins. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured board. Knead in nuts and fruit mixture. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces.

Roll each piece of dough into a 12 x 7-inch oval. Fold in half lengthwise. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until double in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a moderate oven (350F) for about 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Make the frosting: Mix the powdered sugar with the vanilla and milk. Then add more milk a bit at a time until it is thin enough to drizzle over the Danish. Frost with confectioner’s sugar frosting while warm. If desired, decorate with additional Planters Blanched Almonds and candied cherries.