Exquisite Christmas Desserts

Growing up in Sweden, the traditional end to our Julbord, or Christmas Feast, was rice pudding, ginger cookies, and St. Lucia buns.  The rice pudding, risgrynsgrot, and folklore says that whoever gets the peeled almond inside will be married the following year.  It's traditions that make me love the holidays, whether its the quirky, wedding almond, or the procession of the Lucias on St. Lucia Day. I love how food and the holidays are intertwined, and I'm learning even more from this article by Bruce Palling for the Wall Street Journal.  He chronicles traditional Christmas sweets in other parts of the world from the inventive British Chef Heston Blumenthal, to the butter-soaked Stollen from Chef Hans Haas in Munich, Germany.

I enjoyed reading about how Italians contend with the plentiful panettones at Christmas-time.  Pamela Sheldon Johns turns the traditional fruitcakes into bread pudding or fills them with gelato.  In the south of France, Provence has a traditional gros souper, or fasting supper, featuring 13 desserts, which symbolize Christ and his 12 disciples.

Read more about global yuletide traditions here, and check out my idea of the Perfect Swedish Christmas Table.  I'll be posting my recipes for the perfect Swedish Christmas meal in the days to come, so check back daily!