One of the recipes featured in “Puffin Plated: A Christmas Carol” (read about it in On The Bookshelf) these cookies are a great way to update the traditional fruitcake. It’s an Ina Garten recipe that the kids will have fun rolling into logs.
Makes 5 dozen small cookies
½ lb dried figs
¼ lb raisins
¼ lb candied cherries, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsps dry sherry
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 ounces chopped walnuts
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room tem- perature
½ tsp ground cloves
½ cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 extra-large egg
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
Snip off the hard stems of the figs with scissors or a small knife and coarsely chop the figs. In a medium bowl, combine the figs, raisins, cherries, honey, sherry, lemon juice, walnuts, and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight at room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, cloves, superfine sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and ¼ teaspoon salt and mix just until combined. Don’t overmix! Add the fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl. Divide the dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12 x 18-inch piece of parchment or wax paper. Roll each half into a log, 1 ½ to 1 ¾ inches thick, making an 18-inch-long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into ½-inch-thick slices. Place the slices ½ inch apart on ungreased sheet pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden.
“Fruitcake Cookies” from “Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You’ll Make Over and Over Again” by Ina Garden, copyright © 2006 by Ina Garten