Most of the time I try to cook and bake things that I know Michael will like so when he told me that he liked Fruitcake, I had no idea what to do…I’ve never made it before and only tasted it a few times. So I asked around for fruitcake recipes….all I heard was the sound of silence….guess no one else likes Fruitcake either, or maybe they do but just buy it rather than make it. Or maybe no one wants to admit that they like it. I had always heard and read that it took weeks or even months to make a fruitcake…first you bake the cake then you spend the remaining time soaking it in alcohol. If that was the case, that was out…I didn’t have the time and wasn’t sure, since neither of us care for alcohol, that we would like that. Not long after I began my search I received an email newsletter from the King Arthur Flour Company that had a link to a recipe for Fruitcake Drops…they looked interesting, wouldn’t take months to make and I do like making cookies, so I decided to try it.
Their recipe includes a lot of the products that they sell, which I didn’t order; I just used what I could find locally. The next time I make these, I may order some of their products to see it makes any difference in the taste and texture of this cookie. I’ve posted the recipe the way I made it and am also including a link to the original recipe.
King Arthur Flour Fruitcake Drops
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup cherry concentrate
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
9 cups chopped dried/candied fruit...I used candied cherries, candied pineapple, dried dates and dried apricots.
1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease (or better yet, line with parchment) a couple of baking sheets.
2) In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, salt, and baking powder till smooth.
3) Add the eggs, and beat till smooth and creamy.
4) Add the rum and cherry concentrate and mix, scraping the sides of the bowl. The batter will appear curdled; that's OK.
5) Add the spices and the flour. Mix till smooth.
6) Stir in the fruit. The batter will be heavy and sticky; this is best done in a stand mixer, or using a heavy spoon and lots of muscle power.
7) Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, or a spoon, scoop out balls of dough about the size of a ping pong ball. Space them on the baking sheets, leaving about 1" to 1 1/2" between them; they won't spread much.
8) Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes. They'll appear fairly set, but may still be very slightly shiny/wet looking when you remove them from the oven. The bottoms will be lightly browned.
9) Let the cookies cool, then loosen them from the parchment or pan using a spatula.
10) Store at room temperature up to several weeks, in an airtight canister in layers, with parchment or waxed paper between the layers to keep the cookies from sticking to one another. For longer storage, freeze.
Yield: about 5 1/2 dozen cookies.
Add eggs and beat until smooth and creamy.
1/4 cup rum...can use bourbon, brandy or apple juice.
1/4 cup cherry concentrate....can use boiled cider, or apple juice concentrate.
Add liquor and cherry concentrate and mix, scraping sides of the bowl.
Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Add the spices and flour to the liquid mixture......
mix until smooth.
To keep the fruit from sticking to your kitchen shears and measuring cup, spray with cooking spray.
Bake for 20-22 minutes.
The verdict....I liked these cookies and that's saying a lot considering I'm not a fruitcake fan. Michael liked them too....not only did he tell me that he did but proved it by sitting down with a glass of cold milk and eating at least six before they had time to get completely cool. Looks like I'll be making these again.