Just like the original German bread, these gluten free stollen bars are packed with yummy nuts and fruit and covered in a blanket of powdered sugar!
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I never used to go for treats that had fruit and nuts in them. I love fruit and nuts separately, but in cookies? Or bread? I always thought, “ewww!” I don’t know why. It’s the same way I felt for brussels sprouts or asparagus. Haha!
But now? Brussels sprouts and asparagus are two of my favorite vegetables, and I see a recipe with fruit and nuts and I’m instantly drooling. I do love the way that works because I’m able to enjoy those foods I thought I hated as a kid.
These gluten free stollen bars, though. Oh my! They’re everything you could want in bar form and they couldn’t be easier.
What is Stollen?
Stollen is a traditional German yeasted bread that’s loaded with fruit, nuts, and spices. It’s usually eaten at Christmastime and quite often you’ll see it in packages in grocery stores at this time of year. Stollen has a signature blanket of powdered sugar covering it.
I’ve actually never had stollen. Before I was diagnosed with celiac, I never really had a desire to taste it. After, I haven’t seen it available gluten free. So when I saw Molly Yeh make these stollen bars, I knew I had to try to make them gluten free. Plus, I thought it would be a great way to try the flavors of stollen without attempting to make a yeast bread. I LOVE the chewiness of these bars! They have almost a brownie-like texture!!
What are the Ingredients in These Gluten Free Stollen Bars?
It’s so simple to make these bars, but there are several ingredients:
- Kim’s gluten free flour blend — just the all-purpose blend, not the bread flour blend. You can use a store bought blend if you’d prefer, such as Cup4Cup.
- Almond flour
- Baking powder
- Cardamom (one of my favorite spices)
- Ground cloves
- Cream Cheese
- Orange zest
- Almond extract
- Dried cherries
- Golden raisins
- Roasted pistachios
- Marzipan — the brand I used is Solo. Odense claims to be gluten free on the front of the box, but when looking at the ingredients list, there is clearly wheat in the marzipan.
- Powdered sugar
Phew!! That’s a long list of ingredients, isn’t it? But most of them are spices and add-ins, like nuts and dried fruits. The rest are just usual cookie dough ingredients. Don’t let all the ingredients intimidate you.
Making the Bars
The method for making these wonderful bars is just like making a cookie dough.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and a portion of the butter until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest and egg until incorporated. Whisk together the dry ingredients and spices and slowly add these to the butter mixture on low. Follow this with the cherries, raisins, and pistachios. Fold the marzipan into the dough by hand.
Press the dough into an 8-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment lining it and extending out to create “handles” to lift the bars after baked. Bake the bars until golden around the edges and lightly golden on top.
While the bars are still warm, spread the rest of the softened butter all over the top and sprinkle it with the powdered sugar. I found when I did this immediately the powdered sugar melted into the butter. Just let that happen and when they’re cooled, sprinkle more powdered sugar on top (for the snowy effect).
If you’ve never had stollen (like me) or you’ve had it and you love it, you really should make these gluten free stollen bars. They’re crunchy, sweet, chewy, and oh so good, and they’re just what you’ve been missing at Christmas 🎄
Gluten Free Stollen Bars
- 1¾ cups (245 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend (or any blend of your choice with xanthan gum)
- ⅔ cup (75 g) almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch of allspice
- ¾ cup (168 g) butter, softened and divided
- 4 ounces (112 g) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- zest of one orange
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ⅓ cup (53 g) dried cherries
- ⅓ cup (53 g) golden raisins
- 1 cup (112 g) toasted salted pistachios
- 8 ounces (227 g) marzipan, chopped into ¾-inch pieces
- ⅔ cup (80 g) powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Whisk together flour blend, almond flour, salt, and all spices in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a handheld mixer) cream ½ cup (113 g) butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Add egg, orange zest, and almond extract and beat to combine.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients followed by the dried cherries, golden raisins, and pistachios. Fold in the marzipan pieces by hand (using a large spatula or spoon).
- Spread the dough into a prepared 8-inch square baking pan with two sheets of parchment crisscrossed to create "handles" that come up and over each side. Smooth the top with a spatula or with your hands. The dough is fairly stiff.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 28 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and on top.
- Remove the baking pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. Immediately spread the rest of the butter (¼ cup or 57 g) over the hot bars and sprinkle with ⅓ cup (40 g) of powdered sugar. Allow the bars to cool and then sprinkle with the remaining ⅓ cup (40 g) of powdered sugar. Cut into bars and then into smaller pieces (small 1-inch squares are perfect).
Adapted from My Name is Yeh’s Stollen Bars.