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Friday, December 01, 2006

Holiday Fruit Nut Drops....and Insomnia (Insomnia never tasted so good!)...

...don't really go hand in hand. But, here I am tonight, not quite sleeping yet, with a pile of lovely cookies cooling on a rack. Mmmmmm. I won't go into my inablility to sleep, let's just say I have been diagnosed clinically "insert stigma here" and sometimes insomnia is a side effect (it really just adds to my Barmy charm). I will,however, go into these cookies. These cookies get better with age. The flavors develop after a few days of baking. I believe this is because they contain those scary candied cherries of the bright red and green variety that really need to be put in some baked good to taste...well...good. My favorite thing about these cookies is that they also contain dates and pecans, two of my favorite things (I know, my list of favorites is long..but I'm a Barmy Baker, I'm allowed, so there :P). I think next year when I make these, I will try soaking the "cherries" and dates in brandy or whiskey and see how they turn out then. They may be confused for mini fruitcakes if I do that, but I like fruitcake (I told you I'm barmy) so that's ok with me.

So, if you are brave enough to purchase some brightly colored cherries, here is the recipe:

Holiday Fruit Drop Cookies: (yields about 6 dozen cookies)

1 cup unsalted butter (the original recipe calls for shortening, but I really don't like shortening for reasons I won't get into morning, so I use butter)
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup soured milk, buttermilk, or water
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups broken pecans
2 cups candied cherries, halved
2 cups chopped dates
-Cream butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and buttermilk (sour milk, water). The mixture might look a bit clumpy after you add the buttermilk, but that's ok.
-Add the flour, baking soda and salt, mix until just combined.
-Add the pecans, cherries and dates. Mix until evenly distributed.
-Chill the dough for at least an hour (I chilled mine for about 4 hours before baking).
-Preheat oven to 350f. Line cookie sheets with parchement paper. Drop the cookie dough by the heaping tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, until there is no depression left when the cookies are gently pressed (I do like these a bit underbaked, as the cake-like texture is a bit too dry for me..underbaked leaves them a bit less 10 minutes will give you less cake-y cookies).
-Cool on a rack, and then share and enjoy!

I don't think these cookies are for everyone, but if you like dates and pecans or if you like brightly colored cherries or if you like fruity cookies, then YUM! And now hopefully I'm off to bed....

Happy Continued Holiday Baking..and maybe I should consider sleep soon.

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revmum said...

This has always been one of my favorite holiday cookies. I made some the other day and think I might have overbaked them. But, after a while in a storage bag they are moist and a little chewy. They freeze well and are your older sister's favorite. Barmy's Mum

Jen the Bread Freak said...

I love these too, I think it's the dates that make them a favorite of mine, as you know I love dates. The fruit makes them soooo moist after they have been baked and stored, it's great! Thanks for baking these for me as a kid!