Don’t like fruitcake? Bet you’d like our chewy fruitcake cookies. We make ‘em small but chunky, leaving a lot of whole pieces of candied fruit and nuts in the dough. This has been the most requested recipe during Cookie Week, our annual holiday bake-a-thon. The recipe makes about five and a half pounds of dough – enough for about 11 dozen small cookies – plenty to share!
Racing to the grocery store the day after Christmas to buy up the half-priced cartons of candied fruit and freezing them for the next year’s baking is no longer necessary because we discovered Nuts.com and their very reasonably priced one pound bags. This is our new favorite place for baking ingredients.
When prepping the fruit, cut about 2/3 of it coarsely and leave the remainder whole. The photo below will give you an idea of the size for cut pieces (on the right side of the knife) to the whole pieces (left side of the knife).
Same with the walnuts. Chop some coarsely and leave about a third of the nuts as halves:
Don’t stress your mixer! This is a very stiff dough, so turn it out and incorporate the fruit by hand:
We like the hand-made look so pinch off little irregular pieces of dough about the size of a walnut. You should get about a dozen cookies per half pound of dough. Wrapped and frozen, the baked cookies will keep about two weeks. Freeze unbaked dough for up to three months (double wrap in plastic then foil) for an after holiday season treat. Enjoy! And be sure to like our Spatula Queens Facebook page.
- 12 ounces light brown sugar (1½ cups, firmly packed)
- 6 ounces unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 15 ounces all purpose flour (3½ cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 12 ounces coarsely chopped walnuts
- 8 ounces golden raisins
- 8 ounces mixed peels and citron
- 1½ pounds (24 ounces) candied cherries and pineapple
- Cut the fruit and nuts, place, with raisins and peels, into a large bowl and set aside.
- Whisk the dry ingredients, including spices, together and set aside.
- In mixer bowl fitted with paddle, beat brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Add the whisked flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated.
- Turn the cookie dough out into the bowl of fruit and work it into the fruit by hand. Don’t stress your mixer! The dough will be way to stiff for your electric mixer.
- We like the irregular shapes rendered by pinching small amounts of dough about the size of a walnut.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-13 minutes. Cool slightly and remove with spatula to wire rack.
- Makes about 5½ pounds of dough; approximately 11 dozen small cookies
- Dough can be kept in freezer for up to 3 months.
- Store baked cookies in tightly covered container. Baked cookies can be frozen for up to two weeks.