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High Five

5 German Christmas treats that are more sinful than you probably thought

During the Christmas season, sweet temptations like sugar-coated almonds and Stollen bread are more dangerously tantalizing than they look.

Stollen bread is one of the most typical German Christmas goodies. Made of heavy yeast dough, it's a staple on German coffee tables come the holidays. This tasty treat is particularly revered in Dresden, where it's lovingly referred to as "streizel" or "braided bun." It's well-known for its buttery flavor and high calorie count. 

When it was first baked in the 1400s, Stollen was a no-frills good made from little more than water, yeast and flour, just as church wished it to be. The wholesome loaf became a calorie bomb in 1491, when as legend has it, the people of Saxony received permission from the Vatican to add butter to the recipe. Famously, the Pope's agreement came in the form of the so-called "butter letter" sent to Dresden.

Since then, bakeries in Saxony's capital city have not held back. Nearly one-third of the cake consists of butter, which gives it the delicious moist quality it is known for. To top it off, sweet raisins, almonds and a heaping layer of powdered sugar are added to the mix. Thus, a once-austere baked good completed its transformation into an opulent delicacy.

Whoever decides to indulge in eating Stollen bread can expect to consume around 400 calories per piece. That's almost double the calorie count of a Big Mac. One would need to walk for at least 30 minutes to burn off the calories.

But enjoying this famous Christmas delicacy from Dresden is absolutely worth it. You can always wait until next year to count the calories. 

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