Mary Clare’s fabulous holiday fruitcake cookies
(Almost World Famous, Too!)
Not much on fruitcakes? Think they’re too dry and only make good doorstops? Well, that might be the traditional “fruit cake,” the Mary Clare’s fruitcake “cookies” is another story altogether! You need to whip up a batch of these for the up-coming holidays. And I suppose a whole cadre of our viewers will. . .’cuz I’ve had dozens of requests that I do this one again. Here goes!
1 tub candied red cherries, 16 oz.(chopped and soaked in dark rum)
2 tubs candied green cherries, 8 oz. (chopped and soaked in dark rum)
2 cups raisins (soaked in dark rum)
1 fifth brandy or dark rum (as needed)
4 eggs, whites and yolks
1 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
2/3 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
Couple dashes nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla
3 cups unbleached sifted flour
2 cups walnut halves and pieces
First, prepare this recipe far enough in advance to allow all the dried fruit and raisins to soak in dark rum or amber brandy for 24 hours. During the soaking time, stir the dried fruits together several times to get uniform alcohol distribution.
Now. . .preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
At this point, begin building the cookies by beating the eggs with the sugar in a large, roomy bowl until fully mixed. Then add to the bowl the softened butter, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla, and fold the ingredients together well.
Next, when the butter mix is fully blended, gradually add in the 3 cups of flour, combining the mixture totally after the addition of each cup. Then a little at a time stir in the brandied fruits (with their soaking liquid) and the chopped nuts and again mix well.
All that’s left now is to drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto a non-greased baking sheet (or a pan lined with a piece of parchment paper). Then bake the fruitcake cookies until they become light brown, about 15-18 minutes. When they’re done, remove them from the oven and cool them on a wire rack.
They’re outstanding with a frosty glass of ice cold milk!