• 3/4 cup chopped prunes
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped apricots
  • 1/4 cup crystalized candied ginger
  • 1/4 cup candied cherries
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans and/or walnuts
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour


Fruitcake, a dense confection soaked in spirits and filled with chopped fruit and nuts, gets a really bad rep around the holidays. It is the butt of many holiday jokes. I’m not exactly sure why since I have never had fruit cake, but I imagine if you make it correctly it would probably be really good. What’s not to like about fruit, nuts and alcohol?And if is is so bad, then why do people continue to give it away as a gift? The long shelf life? Whatever the reason, I am convinced that this cookie recipe will convert all you fruitcake haters out there. This Fruitcake Cookie recipe¬†comes from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. I know I can always depend on Ina’s recipes because she focuses on using fresh and simple ingredients very much like the French. The beauty of these cookies is you can sub whatever fruits and nuts you prefer or have on hand. I replaced the figs in her recipe with prunes and added dried cherries, ginger, and cranberries to add more color and texture. I am not a big fan of cloves so I added cinnamon and ginger instead. I also changed the measurements into cups instead of ounces because it makes it easier for me to measure. These make a perfect breakfast cookie and make beautiful holiday gifts.

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine the dried fruit, nuts, Grand Marnier, lemon juice and salt. Allow to sit overnight at room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, spices, superfine sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just until combined. Don’t over mix! Stir in the fruit and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl.

Divide the dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12 by 18-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll each half into a log, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch thick, making an 18-inch-long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on ungreased sheet pans lined with parchment and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. My cookies baked perfectly in 15 minutes. You can keep the extra rolls of dough in the refrigerator or freezer and bake them as you need them.

 

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