Christmas Fruitcake Cookies

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Last year during the holidays, I posted the fruitcake recipe that my mother and I had developed and enjoyed baking before Christmas. This season, I had an idea to try and come up with a fruitcake cookie. Because I planned to give most of the cookies away as gifts, I was happy with the huge number of cookies our recipe produced.

Mama and I had adapted our recipe after much experimenting, so I knew it worked as a cake – but how would it taste as a cookie? After I watched Ina Garten make her fruitcake cookies, I used our recipe but added her technique of chilling the dough, slicing for cookies and baking in a medium oven. Success!

A big thank you to Susan of The Wimpy Vegetarian, for inviting me to be a part of “Cookie Love Blog-Hop”. So much fun!

TIP: This recipe makes a lot of cookies. Although they freeze well after they have been baked, you could also freeze a log or two of the unbaked dough and bake them off later.

Yields 6 dozen cookies

  • 1 pound candied red cherries, cut into halves
  • 1 pound best quality dried pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound yellow raisins
  • 1 pound best quality dried apricots, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound walnut pieces
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature (4 sticks)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 pound (4 cups) unbleached all- purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons lemon extract
  • zest and juice of one Meyer lemon, or any organic lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Rinse the candied cherries and combine in a very large bowl with all the dried fruits and walnuts.

2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until light. Add the sugar and mix well until fluffy.

3. Add 3 of the eggs to mixture, then 2 cups of flour. Mix well. Add last 3 eggs and final 2 cups of flour. Mix well.

4. Add the lemon extract, zest, lemon juice and vanilla to cake batter and combine.

5. Pour the batter over the fruit and nuts. Use a sturdy spoon or spatula to combine ingredients. Batter will be very stiff.

6. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each 1/4 into a 16 inch log that is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll each log in buttered parchment paper, place on 2 cookie sheets, and chill in fridge until firm, at least 2 hours.

7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

8. Remove dough from fridge, discard the plastic wrap, and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place on lined cookie sheets.

9. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on racks.

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18 Responses to Christmas Fruitcake Cookies

  1. Bevi December 9, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    This elicits memories of holiday Houska making – pretty much a Czech Challah with all the candied fruits and walnuts mixed in. I wish I had seen this for my Secret Santa package!

    • lizthechef December 9, 2011 at 7:35 am #

      Would love to see your Houska recipe!

  2. Sunchowder -Wendy Read December 9, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    You have been so very busy Liz! These cookies look really tasty, my husband would enjoy them for sure as they are so very British indeed 🙂 They have such a nice light color too, as opposed to the very dark, treacle-looking british ones. Great post!

    • lizthechef December 9, 2011 at 7:35 am #

      I am ashamed to tell you how many cookies we have eaten – they are supposed to be give-aways…

      • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 9, 2011 at 10:45 am #

        Oh man, I’ve been there. This happened to me this week on a cookie I was experimenting with. Luckily I made a LOT.

        • lizthechef December 9, 2011 at 11:31 am #

          I know you love a good cookie, Susan 😉

  3. bakeanything December 9, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Forget giveaways! Welcome Liz the Baker! I think you have a talent in the kitchen no matter what. They do remind me of British fruitcakes but without the brandy (;

    • lizthechef December 9, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      Thanks, Denise – maybe I will become a baker yet 😉

  4. The Wimpy Vegetarian December 9, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    These look really great Liz! And I just love the idea of turning your wonderful cake recipe into a cookie, since cookies are just dry cakes. I think you’re going to be our next baker in the group!

    • lizthechef December 9, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      Thank you for including me in the Cookie Love Blog-Hop!

  5. jaynerly December 9, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    These look lovely! Im a real fruitcake fan so these really appeal to me! I couldnt be left alone in a room with them – yum!

    • lizthechef December 9, 2011 at 11:33 am #

      I know it is my British blood that makes me much a fan of fruitcake – great minds think alike here 😉

  6. Trevor Sis. Boom December 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    I’m not a big fan of most christmas cookies but I LOVE fruitcake and would love getting a gift of these!

    • lizthechef December 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

      I threw the rest of the batch in the freezer so we stopped eating them…Glad to meet a fellow fruitcake fan.

  7. TasteFood December 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I love this recipe – little mini-cake bites.

    • lizthechef December 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

      Thanks, Lynda – I’m going to bake my next batch a little less than the 15-20 minutes so to get the texture a bit more dense.

  8. sippitysupsup December 15, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    A bit of Christmas nostalgia in a far more interesting package. GREG

    • lizthechef December 15, 2011 at 10:57 am #

      Thanks, I’m into your cinnamon snap cookie recipe…

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