Recipe by Ismy Echo
Needed a quick way to have that holiday fruitcake taste without the long planning and preparing, with some ease in giving. Besides that, most people aren't afraid of a bar cookie the way people develop phobias about fruitcake, including me. These aren't too labor intensive, similar time it takes to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Recipe is original, a take on a variety of sources.
Top Review by Sydney Mike
Say 'fruitcake' & my ears prick up, especially with the combo of spices AND dried fruits called for in this recipe! These are EXTREMELY TASTY & WONDERFUL! I now have the recipe in my Gift Ideas for the holidays, as well as in my file of things to make AGAIN for groups that I host! Thanks for this great recipe! [Tagged, made & reviewed in Zaar Chef Alphabet Soup cooking game]
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄3 cup honey
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla or 1⁄2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from
- 1 cup pecans, chopped (or other nut of your choice)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
- 8 ounces mixed dried fruit
- 1⁄4 cup orange juice
- 1⁄4 cup rum or 1⁄4 cup brandy or 1⁄4 cup cognac
- 1 3⁄4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 1 -2 tablespoon Grand Marnier (or other orange flavored cognac liquer)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line an 11x7 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
- If necessary, dice any large slices of dried fruit. To a small saucepan, add the dried mixed fruit and dried cranberries, orange juice and rum or brandy. Bring to a simmer for about one minute and then take off heat, allowing to marinate for a few minutes while toasting the nuts. Drain well.
- Add the 1 tablespoon of butter to a saute pan to melt over medium heat, when melted, add nuts. Stirring frequently, toast the nuts until you can begin to smell them toasting and are hot to the touch and starting to brown. This takes usually not more than about five minutes in total, give or take based on your own experience with cooking times in your own kitchen.
- Cream the butter, sugar, brown sugar and honey until well mixed and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue to beat mixture until very light and fluffy, usually about two or three minutes with most mixers.
- Add spices, baking soda and salt, along with vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds, blending until completely evenly distributed throughout. Add half of flour, mixing gently, until most of the flour has been blended inches Add second half of flour and blend until it is evenly blended. Fold in drained fruit and nuts, folding just until they are evenly distributed. Over mixing of flour into a cake batter can create a heavy and/or tough cake, due to the gluten in the flour developing.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until golden brown and cake tester, such as a toothpick, comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place on cooling rack.
- Mix powdered sugar, cream and liquer together until well blended, adding more cream, water or liquer, as needed, to make a thick glaze. When bars are cool, or almost cool if you are in a hurry, spread glaze across across top of bars. Garnish with decorative sprinkles, dried or candied fruit, candied citrus peel or flowers, or anything else that suits the occasion.
- Store in airtight container, after the glaze has set completely, best to separate layers with foil or waxed paper. These should last at least a week covered and are suitable for mailing and other transport, if packed to snugly.