Sunday, December 19, 2010

Treat #2

I ended up making Miniature Golden Fruitcakes for my book club cookie exchange. I had never attempted any type of fruitcake recipe before, and regardless of the bad rap fruitcake traditionally gets, this recipe looked good. And, to my surprise, it also tastes good. Give them a try...or just come over and try some of mine. The recipe was supposed to make 4 dozen but it made 6. I'll have fruitcake forever!

Miniature Golden Fruitcakes
From Everyday Food

6 c. finely dices mixed dried fruit, such as dried apples, pears, apricots and golden raisins (I used everything but pears)
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (5 1/2 oz)
1 3/4 c. brandy
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 c. packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c. flour (spooned and leveled)
1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom (I didn't have this, was going to buy it, but ouch, it's expensive...substituted 1/4 tsp. ginger)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 c. apricot jam, warmed, for topping

In a large non-reactive bowl, combine dried fruit, walnuts and 1 1/4 c. brandy. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 8 hours (or up to 1 day), stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs in two additions, scraping down bowl in between. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and spices. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture in two additions, scraping down bowl in between. Fold fruit mixture into batter.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two mini muffin pans with paper liners. Fill each liner with about 1 TB of batter. Tap pans to settle batter (I couldn't get my batter to settle - I wet the tips of my fingers with water and pressed it down gently...not much though as they don't change shape really at all while baking).

Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and edges are light golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through.

Brush cakes immediately with 1/2 c. brandy; transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Just before serving, brush with jam.

They will keep covered and in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

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