I love alcohol-soaked fruits.
My taste for boozy fruits started when I was a kid: Rum and raisin ice-cream was a regular treat after piano classes. Then came along brandied cherries, prunes in armagnac and pears poached in red wine as I got older.
I like desserts that combine alcohol and fruits. For instance – black forest cake, Christmas cake and tiramisu. While tiramisu doesn’t contain any alcohol-soaked fruit, it is often made using kahlua, a coffee liqueur, and coffee is not a bean and in fact comes from a fruit!
How about you? Do you like boozy fruits too?
During the recent festive period, I was thinking of making a Christmas fruitcake. No, I don’t celebrate Noel. I just wanted to eat some boozy fruit in a cake. Plus it was freezing cold outside and baking would keep me warm.
In the end, I decided against it as I didn’t want to wait for weeks before I could have my cake. Instead, I ended up making fruitcake cookies.
This recipe was adapted from Ina Garten’s (you can see the original recipe here). I reduced the recipe by a third and used less sugar and fat.
Fruitcake Cookies (makes around 40 pieces)
Note: I didn’t follow her recipe and came up with my own mix, weighing in at a total of 300g fruits + 100g nuts. You can make your own combination of dried fruits and nuts.
110g dried prunes, deseeded and coarsely chopped
45g jumbo raisins
40g dried cranberries
40g candied lemon peel, coarsely chopped
35g dried apricots, coarsely chopped
30g dried currants
70g almonds, coarsely chopped
40g cashew nuts/hazelnuts/walnuts, coarsely chopped
4 tsp dark rum
2 tsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
Fine salt, for taste
140g unsalted butter, softened
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup caster/superfine sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 medium egg
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1. Mix together all the ingredients for the fruit-nut mixture in a bowl or container. Cover and let the mixture sit overnight at room temperature.
2. The following day: Pre-heat oven to 162°C
3. Cream the butter, sugars, nutmeg and cinnamon until smooth. Add egg and mix well. Gradually fold in flour until combined. Pour fruit-nut mixture, together with any liquid in the bowl, and mix.
4. Divide dough in half, around 4cm wide and 30cm long. Wrap in plastic wrap or put in a container with cover. Refrigerate for several hours or until the dough in firm.
5. Use a sharp knife to cut the logs into 1.5cm thick slices. Place the sliced dough on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 1.5cm apart. Bake for around 15 minutes until lightly golden.
P.S. I didn’t bake all the cookies in one go and put half of the dough into the freezer. Am planning to pop it into the oven sometime this month when the temperature dips again. Boozy fruitcake cookies with some hot chai would be perfect for a snowy day at home.