Starting in late October, I create a document where I copy and paste Christmas cookie ideas for the year. I generally try to make about 6-8 of the old favorites and 6-8 new cookies. Since my Kitchenaid mixer didn't make it to Boise, along with my rolling pin, silpat, cookie cutters and a few other baking essentials, I had to rethink the list. While I normally make Gingerbread men cut outs, sugar cookie Christmas trees, chocolate sugar cookie snowflakes and spritz cookies, they weren't an option this year.
As I was noting recipes I thought to myself how it would be fun to make a certain cookie that each member of my family would really like. So over the next few days you'll see different cookies that I made hoping to make each family member feel extra special!
First up is my husband! He is one of the only people I know who love fruitcake. Seriously... So when I saw these Ina cookies I knew they'd be a hit with him. I made a few small changes to the original recipe. First, I couldn't get dried figs at the store and I didn't feel like trying another so I used dates. Turns out my husband prefers dates! Next, I soaked the fruit/nuts in Bourbon rather than sherry. Lastly I left out the candied cherries and used dried cherries instead. Do not be afraid of these cookies, yes Fruitcake is a polarizing thing, but they're so good! They plethora of dried fruit and nuts is just lightly held together with a brown sugary dough, totally delicious!
loosely based on Ina Garten's recipe
1 c. diced dried dates
1 c. diced dried apricots
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. dried cherries, chopped
1/2 c. dried cranberries
3 tbsp. Bourbon
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3/4 c. chopped pecans
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 2/3 c. all purpose flour
Toss dried fruit and pecans in a bowl, drizzle with bourbon, lemon juice and zest, add a pinch of kosher salt.
Cover and let fruit sit overnight at room temperature.
Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Add egg and cloves, mix well.
Add flour and mix until it is just combined, do not overmix.
Add fruit mixture and gently fold to distribute evenly.
Chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350*
Scoop dough by heaping tablespoons full into palms, roll into a ball then gently flatten into a disc, place 2" apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on a metal rack and store in an airtight container for up to a week.