Incredible Edible Fruit Cake Cookie Bars
Bricks. Door stops. The gift that you get to pass around…year after year after year after year. I’m sure you’ve heard all the jokes. Through the years, fruit cake has really gotten a bad rap. I suspect much of this is because of the commercially produced ones that are heavy enough to sink a ship, don’t really taste very good and just seem to last forever.
Those are not real fruit cakes. Real fruit cakes are delicious. In fact, in the early days, they were a highly prized gift for the holidays that allowed one to savor the last of the sweet food available until winter was long over.
Good news! Over the next few posts, I’m going to share REAL fruit cake recipes that you are going to love. Today, I’ll start with a twist on this delectable dessert. I call them “Incredible Edible Fruit Cake Cookie Bars”. This is an easy recipe that’s great for getting the kids involved, in cookie exchanges and party sweet treat trays.
Incredible Edible Fruit Cake Cookie Bars – yields 7 dozen
¾ C butter, softened
1-3/4 C packed brown sugar
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 C all purpose flour
3 C coarsely chopped walnuts
1-1/2 C candied pineapple, coarsely chopped
1 C red candied cherries, coarsely chopped
1 C green candied cherries, coarsely chopped
1-3/4 C pitted dates, coarsely chopped
Garnish: extra fruit and nuts (if desired)
Preheat oven to 325*. Grease a 15” x 10” baking dish and set aside.
In large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in extract. Add flour and walnuts; mix well. Fold fruit into batter, incorporating throughout. Spread mixture evenly in prepared baking dish. Garnish if desired. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into small bars. Store in airtight container.
As you can see, this recipe is alcohol free. Originally, fruit cakes sometimes contained a small amount of alcohol in the recipe and then they were wrapped in alcohol soaked cheese cloth and a small amount of the alcohol poured over it each week for at least one month, as a way of preserving the cake and keeping it moist. These won’t stay around long enough for that to be an issue.
But if you must, you can…..
1.) Increase the flour by 1/4 to 1/2 cup and add up to 1/3 cup of brandy, bourbon or rum into this recipe if you desire.
2.) Add 1 TBSP of an alcohol flavored extract for the slight flavor of it.
3.) Substitute dried fruits soaked in brandy, bourbon or rum at least overnight for the candied fruits fruits in the recipe. Drain before adding to cookie batter.
4.) Make a drizzle glaze from brandy, bourbon, or rum & powdered sugar.
Now…try this recipe and tell me that you still don’t like fruit cake. *wink*
Enjoy your at home baking!