Fruit Cake Cookie! Isn't that like the most perfect set of words that can be put to together...whats not to love in that combination! I saw this recipe on Ina Garten's show Barefoot Contessa and knew I had to try it out soon. I love fruit cake, but haven't been super successful in perfecting a recipe for it. But to have a cookie that tastes just like it is just wonderful! I like most of IG's recipes, atleast watching them :D She does make a huge quantity of everything though and uses quite a bit of butter, but its her technique & cooking style that I like.
My main attraction towards this particular recipe, (apart from the name :D), was that it called for just one egg, now that could easily be substituted. I wanted to make them the very next day but then I hesitated. Making a whole batch of these decadent cookies with just me around wouldn't be good news for my weighing scale. So I waited for the perfect occasion and it came by earlier than expected. Its my brother's birthday today (Happy Birthday!) and I went to visit him this past weekend. I made a huge batch of these cookies and took them along with me. Trust me, a recipe cannot get any easier and also give such splendid results. A few of my brother's friends tasted it too and they only had compliments for me. *blush*
For those who are familiar with the famous Karachi bakery's fruit biscuits in Hyderabad, these cookies taste very similar to them, actually even better! I now can't wait to try the other biscuits that the bakery sells using this recipe as a base. woohoo! Another advantage with this recipe is that the dough freezes very well. It needs to be refrigerated for 1-2hrs before baking, but you can easily freeze and store it for a couple of weeks in there. Whenever you are in the mood for decadence, bring the dough out, cut a few cookies to bake and send the rest of the dough back to the freezer, soo convenient! Perfect for weekday parties too, and psst, the dough is delicious on its own too :D
For once I thought I will follow the recipe as is, but ended up tweaking it a little since the dough turned out to be really wet. I used a different combination of fruits and also used lesser sugar. I did not have brown sugar and used regular sugar instead. The fruits also contribute to the sweetness of the cookies, so adjust the amount of sugar to suit your needs. Below are the measurements I used, for the original recipe click here.
These cookies are dotted with fruits all along and their sweet wine soaked flavor really comes through. I am in love with them. They taste a lot like a fruit cake but in a smaller, more flavorful package, and you cannot have just one. They crumble in your mouth and slowly melt away as you chew on the bits of fruit...bliss!Fruit Cake Cookies (40-45 small cookies)Ingredients:
- 1 cup, packed - mixed fruits and nuts, choppedI used a combination of prunes, raisins, dried cranberries, blueberries & cherries. For the nuts, I choose unsalted roasted pecans (cashews will be great too)
- 1 Tbsp - Sherry or Red wine
- 1/2 Tbsp - lemon juice
- 1/2 Tbsp - Honey
- 1 stick - unsalted Butter (~ 8 Tbsp), at room temperature
- 1/3 cup - sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp - powdered Cloves
- 1/4 tsp - powdered nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp - Orange zest
- 1/2 tsp - pure Vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp - ground Flax seeds + 1.5 Tbsp - water
- 1 1/3 + 2/3 cup - All purpose flour
- Place the chopped fruits and nuts in a bowl and mix in the sherry/wine, honey and lemon juice. Cover the bowl and let them soak overnight at room temperature.
- The next day, microwave the ground flax seeds along with the water for 30secs. Using a fork beat the mixture and microwave again for 15secs & beat. Set aside and allow it to cool.
- In a wide glass bowl (or electric mixer) cream the butter, sugar, salt, orange zest, vanilla extract, clove and nutmeg powders until you get a smooth consistency. It took me 3-4mins using a hand mixer on low speed.
- Sift the flour to remove lumps. Add all the flax seed mixture and the flour in 1/3rd portions. Mix at a low speed. The dough was really sticky even after the 11/3 cups were added, so I added an additional 1/2 cup of flour and mixed it in with a spatula. Don't over mix the dough since it will develop gluten and you will end up with really tough cookies.
- Next add the fruits along with any leftover soaking liquid and fold it onto the dough. I added a couple of Tbsps of flour along with it.
- Divide the dough in half and place each half on the longer end of a 15" wax/parchment paper. Shape and roll it into a log. The cross-section will give you the final shape/size of your cookie. (These cookies do not spread while cooking. I moistened my palms lightly with water to help me shape the logs, or roll the paper on the dough and use it to help shape). Repeat with the other half of the dough and refrigerate for 1-2hrs or until firm. If not using immediately move them to the freezer.
- When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350deg. With a sharp knife cut the log into 1/2 inch rounds. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange them, 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake for 15-20mins, checking on them every minute after the 15 minute point. When the edges start to turn a light golden take them out. They will continue to cook for a few more minutes outside the oven. Lift the foil and place it on the counter-top so the residual heat in the pan does not burn them.
Last Sunday I made a tiny batch of 6 cookies and the rest of the dough was stashed in the freezer. I kept going back to the kitchen with excuses to have a bite or two and in no time all 6 cookies vanished :D On Thursday evening, all I had to do was slice them, pop them into the oven and pack before heading to the airport. My brother and his friends loved the cookies, and they could not believe it was home made. Did I tell you how gorgeous the weather in Houston is...aah, my heart craved for the sunshine and did not want to come back to this igloo of a place! hmph
When I started out with the recipe I had soaked 2 cups of the fruits & nuts. I refrigerated the unused cup and made another batch of cookie dough on Wednesday. They will be off to a few friends this week. These cookies are soo good that you will want to share it with everyone (and get tonnes of compliments in exchange :-P) I wanted to dip half of each cookie in some tempered chocolate, but I was soo in love with the fruity flavor that I let them be that way. May be you can try that out and let me know how it is ? Deal ?