Whew, I just finished a 4 hour baking/cooking marathon, and in a few hours I will head off to our Christmas Eve celebration. Time to enjoy the holidays! While all my holiday prep is now complete, some of you may be out shopping today for the one last gift. Well, here is a twist on that old holiday gift favorite, the gift the keeps on giving, and the ultimate regift: the fruitcake.
Now, few holiday foods are as contentious as the fruitcake. Some love it, while others hate it. While people who dislike fruitcake on principle may still not like these cookies, these cookies take what’s great about fruitcake (the sweet fruit, crunchy nuts, and fall spices) and combines them in a soft, moist, chewy cookie. Plus you can always store some in your freezer and have fruitcake whenever you want it.
7 ounces dried figs
4 ounces raisins
4 ounces candied cherries, coarsely chopped
2 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped
6 ounces pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sweet marsala wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 pound butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
Cut the stems off the dried figs. Coarsely chop the figs.
In a large bowl, combine the chopped figs, raisins, candied cherries, apricots, pecans, honey, marsala wine, and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, cloves, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in egg, mixing until incorporated. Slowly add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix until just combined. Pour in fruit and nut mixture, including any liquid. Mix until just combined.
Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into an 18 inch log. Wrap dough in cling wrap. Refrigerate for several hours, until firm. Slice the logs into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden.
To Freeze Dough:
Freeze cookie dough in freezer paper. Thaw in refrigerator for about 4 hours. Cut the logs into 1/2 inch thick slices. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350°F until lightly golden.