Monday, 21 October 2013

Fruitcake cookies/biscuits

Brrr - it is horribly wet out there!  Feeling very fortunate that after getting soaked on the dog walk first thing this morning we could return to a warm and dry house. 

Fruit cake cookies / biscuits
I guess it is no wonder that I am starting to feel very Christmassy and the recipe I found at the weekend reflects that perfectly: fruitcake cookies/biscuits.  These delicious treats are full of yummy dried fruit and nuts and warming spices - perfect on a cold and/or wet day!  I saw these made on Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa" TV show and knew they'd be just the right thing for us: the perfect cookie/biscuit to go with a warming cup of tea :-) 

The dried fruit is best left to soak overnight if you want a stronger flavour and the dough also needs to rest in the fridge to firm up, so best to plan ahead when making these.  They are definitely worth the wait!

Fruitcake cookies / biscuits (makes 14 - 16 medium cookies)

175g plain flour
125g butter
50g caster sugar
40g light brown sugar
1 small egg
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sherry or rum
1 tbsp mixed spice (or just cinnamon)
200g chopped dried fruit and nuts (any combination you like)

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the dried fruit and nuts with the honey, sherry and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at least a couple of hours or overnight at room temperature.
  2. In the bowl cream the butter, sugars and spices until smooth, then add the egg and mix until incorporated. Slowly add the flour just until combined. Don't overmix! 
  3. Add the fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl and combine.
  4. Place the dough on the long edge of a 12 by 18-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a log, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch thick, making an 18-inch-long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F).
  6. With a sharp knife, cut the log into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on ungreased sheet pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. 
(recipe adapted from Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa")

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