Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
The inspiration for this recipe was a box of spice cake mix, Linda's "Cake Mix Cookie" recipe and an episode on Food TV of "The Secret Life Of..." that featured fruitcake. I got the idea that there was a good bar cookie in there somewhere, so I experimented. No candied cherries or pineapple or citron in these spicy and dense cake-like bars. They are rather like a cross between fruitcake and lebkuchen. Feel free to change the dried fruit mix to suit your own tastes; this is what I had on hand. I may be the only one that is ultimately impressed with the results, but I'm rating them good enough to experiment on the family cookie tray. I'm fairly sure that the fruitcake fans, like my dad, will like them. I really wanted to preserve the recipe while it is fresh in my mind because I'll make them again. I did not include the time for soaking the fruit in the liquor in the preparation or cooking time.
- 1 (18 1/4 ounce) box spice cake mix
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup canola oil
- 1⁄2 cup dates, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup golden raisin
- 1⁄4 cup raisins
- 1⁄2 cup dried apricot, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup dried cherries, chopped coarsely
- 3⁄4 cup walnuts or 3⁄4 cup pecans, chopped
- 1⁄3 cup Bourbon or 1⁄3 cup golden rum
- 1⁄4 cup dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons triple sec
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 -3 tablespoons orange juice
- Combine dried fruits in a bowl and pour the bourbon, triple sec and sherry over the fruit. Let the fruit macerate for about 4 hours (or longer), stirring every 30-60 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine cake mix and spices, then add the eggs, egg yolk, oil, honey, orange zest and vanilla extract until everything is mostly combined. Mixture may be looking like there isn't enough liquid, but don't be concerned just yet. Add nuts and soaked fruit, including any remaining liquid (probably 1-2 Tbs.). Stir to thoroughly incorporate the fruit and nuts evenly and to make sure that there are no dry spots in the mixture.
- Pour into prepared pan and spread it evenly in the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden on top and the edges are just coming away from the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when done. Cool completely in the pan.
- Mix together confectioners sugar and enough orange juice to make a glaze suitable for drizzling over the cooled bars in the pan. Allow the glaze to set and harden for a few minutes, then cut into bars.
Ages ago I used to go the whole route when it came to making fruitcakes, but not anymore! Still, this recipe intrigued me, so I tagged it, & am so glad I did! Made these wonderful little tasties pretty much as indicated, but with one major exctption ~ I soaked the fruit in a combo of OJ, mango juice & Triple Sec! This time around I'm sharing these only with my other half, but will be keeping the recipe around to make again from time to time throughout the year! Thank you for sharing this wonderful gem! [Made & reviewed for 1 of the chefs that I adopted in the current Pick A Chef]
MORE STARS!!! The surprise hit of the '08 cookie season. Everyone loved these, even the finicky nephews. They are delicious and easy and perfect!