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Mouth-watering holiday desserts from around the world worth travel for

One of the sweetest things about the holidays is to enjoy a delicious dessert with your loved ones.

One of my favorite things about the holidays is the festival desserts! Let’s face it, even if we’re full, there’s always room for a sweet treat. Whether it’s a pastry or chocolate-covered food, there’s a wide variety of these mouth-watering courses around the world. 

Warning! The following holiday desserts may cause the desire to travel to different countries to try these delicacies. 

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Stollen bread (Christollen)

This German bread is a traditional sweet bread baked during Christmas time. This lovely pastry has been around for centuries, so much so that it even has its festival, known as the Dresden Stollen Festival

This festive cake’s ingredients are butter, almonds, dried fruit (such as raisins), and its top is coated with powdered or icing sugar. 

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Did you know that this German bread from Dresden has its organization? The Dresdner Stollen Association represents the interests of Dresden’s stollen bakers and pastry makers.

When it comes to protection, there's no denying that the stollen bread is well backed up!

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Polish gingerbread cookies (Pierniczki świąteczne)

During the holiday season, the Poles gather around to bake these gingerbread cookies that can be shaped in different forms. Some of them even hang them on their Christmas trees! 

While there have been some theories of the gingerbread cookies’ origin, Poland has adopted this treat as part of their festive desserts that’s become a good way to spend some time with your family as they’re being prepared.

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To obtain an appetizing scent, the pierniczki świąteczne requires honey, sugar, cinnamon, and of course some ginger. Some folks like to decorate their cookies with some icings while others prefer to leave this part. 

Bibingka

A typical rice cake for Christmas in the Philippines, the bibingka’s traditional preparation requires a terracotta oven, and it’s covered with banana leaves. 

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This sweet stuffy bread has rice flour, coconut milk, which gives it a spongy texture and can be topped with sugar or grated cheese. Some variations of the bibingka add condensed milk, syrup, coconut pieces (buko bibingka), or pineapple chunks (pineapple cassava bibingka). 

The bibingka is also popular in Indonesia, especially in the Christian regions; and, since it’s a festive dessert, it can be found near the churches. 

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Bûche de Noël

Also known as the yule log, this traditional cake dates back to the European Middle Ages. This sweet roll represents the yule log that was burned on Christmas Eve for bringing good luck as well as the coming of the new year. 

The bûche de Noël is a special treat that’s served in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and many more. This dessert is made with a Genoese cake (a type of sponge cake), rolled with chocolate whipped cream, and decorated with confectionery to resemble a yule log covered in snow. 

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Throughout history, many pastry chefs have fought over the bûche de Noël’s origins. What’s undisputed is the fact that this holiday cake has been a lovely dessert since the day it was created!  

Sufganiyot

The sufganiyot is a round pillowy doughnut from Israel and other parts of the world during the celebration of Hanukkah. 

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This deep-fried dessert topped with powdered sugar is traditionally filled with jam or jelly; however, some have dared to experiment with the recipe and, instead of the fruity filling, use custard or even dulce de leche. 

The sufganiyot’s importance around the Jewish festivity is the fact that the oil that’s used for its frying symbolizes the Miracle of the Oil, the Hanukkah’s story about the burning oil that lasted for eight days instead of one. 

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Rosca de Reyes

Even though the tradition of cutting this sweet festive bread emerged in France during the Medieval era, the Rosca de Reyes has been among the culture of Spanish-speaking countries, such as Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia. 

Back then, the medieval French choose a king for the holidays. To do so, a bean was hidden in a bagel garnished with sugar and fruit called gallete des rois.  Whoever found it was proclaimed, symbolically, as king. Furthermore, it is also said that this bean represented the flight of Joseph and Mary to hide Jesus from Herod the Great. 

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Nowadays, right after the pan de muerto has been removed from the bakery shelves, the sale of the Rosca de Reyes starts in November, way ahead of the day of kings, celebrated on January 6. 

Mexican families gather around to share and enjoy this exquisite bread, hoping not to get the famous tiny doll that symbolizes baby Jesus. Otherwise, if you’re the lucky one who receives it inside your slice, you must buy the tamales and atole for everyone on February 2, the celebration of La Candelaria (a.k.a. Candlemas Day).  

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[Image: Jackie RGarcia]

What are your country's holiday desserts? Do you have a favorite one? 

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