Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 10, 2011

Online only: Fruitcake reimagined as a holiday cookie

By ALISON LADMAN
Associated Press

— Fruitcake is a love-it-or-hate-it holiday tradition. But these cookies are everything a fruitcake should be. Studded with all manner of dried and candied fruit (you can easily substitute your favorites), these cookies are a chewy, spicy delight that’ll be sure to make a fruitcake lover out of even the skeptics.



FRUITCAKE COOKIES

Start to finish: 1 hour (15 minutes active)

Makes about 40 cookies

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

Zest of 1 orange

1/4 cup orange juice

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup candied peel

3/4 cup chopped dates

3/4 cup candied cherries

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Colored sugars, if desired

Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, salt and baking soda. Beat until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and orange zest, then beat to combine. Add the orange juice and half of the flour, then mix, scraping down the bowl as needed to ensure even mixing. Add the remaining flour and mix to thoroughly incorporate. Stir in the candied peel, dates, cherries, apricots and pecans.  

Working in batches, drop the dough by the tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugars, if desired. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.