Paasstol – Dutch Easter Bread

Paasstol

This Easter, I thought I would revive a Dutch tradition and make a wonderful stollen. I found out, after I had made it, that I should have formed it in the shape of a cross, in memory of Christ’s death and Resurrection. Next year, this is what I will do.

This is a rich, sweet bread filled with dried fruits and almond paste, then sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Soaking the raisins, and the currants stirred up some old childhood memories.

Prep work!

A big thank you to the crusaders, who 650 years ago brought back the almonds, the candied peel, and the spices, that add so much to the fine dough, made with so much butter, that makes this rich delicious stollen.

So good!

Sharing this culinary delight with family, made reviving this tradition, learning more about my heritage, even more delightful.

He is Risen! Alleluia!

Chocolate Bunnies, Paastoks, and the real reason for Easter

‘The funny thing was, as the old poet spoke Clara could actually imagine chocolate chickens running around desperate to find their eggs. Eggs stolen by the Easter Bunny.’ Louise Penny – from her book The Cruelest Month

My earliest Easter memories include that of a candy store. My oldest sister was the proprietor. Using money given to us by our parents, we would spend all afternoon deliberating over the brightly colored, sweet treats.

Another memory includes weaving and decorating paper Easter baskets. Baskets then used for our afternoon Easter egg hunt.

My favourite, though, was the wearing of our new Easter hats, to church on Easter morning. Pretty hats, with flowers and ribbons.

A new tradition, a first for me this year, was the building of a Paastok – a branch of a shrub decorated with Easter related ornaments. Another wonderful Dutch tradition.

The eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus.
‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16