Fruitcake Cookies

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Two Christmas dessert favorites, fruitcake and Christmas cookies, unite in this slice-and-bake Fruitcake Cookie recipe. Customize this homemade cake-like Christmas cookie recipe with your favorite dried fruits, nuts, and liquors.

Fruitcake cookies on a cooling rack.


 

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for fruitcake cookies.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Dried figs, raisins, and cherries: Or any dried fruit you prefer, chopped small, such as dates, candied fruit (including candied green cherries), candied orange peels or lemon peels, dried pineapple, candied ginger, or dried cranberries.
  • Brandy: Sherry, rum, or bourbon also tastes great. For an alcohol-free cookie recipe, or if you don’t want to use any alcohol whatsoever, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice or apple cider instead.
  • Walnuts: Chopped pecans also work well. To enhance the flavor, try toasted walnuts or toasted pecans; bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Superfine sugar: Find this in the baking aisle, or to make superfine sugar at home, put the amount of granulated white sugar called for in your recipe (here, ½ cup) in a food processor. Add a couple of tablespoons more to compensate for a reduction in overall volume that occurs when blending. Process for 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar feels like fine sand, letting the sugar dust settle before opening your food processor to check. Remeasure before using.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Trim off the hard stems of the figs with scissors or a small knife and coarsely chop the figs. In a medium or large bowl, mix together the figs, walnuts, raisins, cherries, brandy, honey, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight at room temperature to soften.
Dried fruit and nuts soaking for fruitcake cookies.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric mixer, cream the butter, superfine sugar, brown sugar, and ground cloves together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and ¼ teaspoon salt until just combined. Do not over-mix! Add the fruits and nuts to the flour mixture, including any liquid in the bowl. Stir to combine.
Fruitcake cookie batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Divide the dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12- by 18-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll each half into a log, 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-inch thick, making an 18-inch long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm.
Rolls of fruitcake cookie dough wrapped in parchment.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch thick slices.
Fruitcake cookies sliced and unbaked.
  1. Place the slices 1/2″ apart on prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to completely cool.
Fruitcake cookies baked on a baking sheet.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Fruitcake Cookie recipe makes a very food-giftable batch of 40 Christmas cookies.
  • Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Or, if you live in a cold climate, store them on your patio or in your garage for several weeks. To freeze baked cookies, separate cooled baked cookies with small sheets of wax paper and place them in a freezer-safe container. Freeze up to 3 months for best results.
  • Make ahead: Mix up the dough, wrap it in waxed paper and foil, then freeze (instead of refrigerate) the Fruitcake Cookie rolls for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake and proceed with step 5, remove the log from the freezer and let it thaw for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Because they’re semi-frozen, they’ll likely need a minute or two extra in the oven to bake.
  • Freezer: Freeze the uncut, unbaked logs of cookie dough for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, remove the log from the freezer and let it warm up for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Cut the cookies into slices using a sharp chef’s knife, or a serrated knife, if that works better. Bake according to the recipe instructions (15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees).
  • Spice up your cookies: Add a pinch of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, or ground nutmeg to your cookie dough for some extra holiday spice.
  • Baking Day: Plan your own Baking Day with friends and family using my guide where you bake holiday cookies and make candy for the holidays together.
Fruitcake cookies on a cooling rack.

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

Get a jump on the holidays, bake sales, and cookie exchanges with this sweet little how-to. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough correctly, to get amazing, freshly baked homemade cookies in an instant. No two…

10 minutes
View Recipe

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Fruitcake cookies on a cooling rack.

Fruitcake Cookies

Two Christmas dessert favorites, fruitcake and Christmas cookies, unite in this slice-and-bake Fruitcake Cookie recipe. Customize this homemade cake-like Christmas cookie recipe with your favorite dried fruits, nuts, and liquors.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soaking and Chilling Time 16 hours
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 40 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 193
5 from 7 votes

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces dried figs stem trimmed and coarsely chopped (see note 1)
  • 6 ounces walnuts chopped (about 1 ½ cups, see note 3)
  • 4 ounces raisins
  • 4 ounces candied cherries chopped (or dried cherries)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (see note 2)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • Salt
  • 1 pound butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar (see note 4)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the figs, walnuts, raisins, cherries, brandy, honey, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight (at least 8 hours) at room temperature to soften.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric mixer, cream the butter, superfine sugar, brown sugar, and ground cloves together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. 
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and ¼ teaspoon salt until just combined. Do not over mix! Add the fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Divide the dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12″ by 18″ piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll each half into a log, 1 1/2″ to 1 3/4″ thick, making an 18″ long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2" thick slices. Place the slices 1/2" apart on prepared ungreased sheet pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to completely cool.

Notes

  1. Dried figs, raisins, and cherries: Or any dried fruit you prefer chopped small, such as dates, candied orange peel, dried pineapple, candied ginger, or dried cranberries.
  2. Brandy: Sherry, rum, or bourbon also tastes great. For an alcohol-free cookie recipe, or if you don’t want to use any alcohol whatsoever, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice or apple cider instead.
  3. Walnuts: Chopped pecans also work well. To enhance the flavor, try toasted walnuts or toasted pecans; bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Superfine sugar: Find this in the baking aisle, or to make superfine sugar at home, put the amount of granulated white sugar called for in your recipe (here, ½ cup) in a food processor. Add a couple of tablespoons more to compensate for a reduction in overall volume that occurs when blending. Process for 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar feels like fine sand, letting the sugar dust settle before opening your food processor to check. Remeasure before using.
  5. Yield: This Fruitcake Cookie recipe makes a very food-giftable batch of 40 Christmas cookies.
  6. Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Or, if you live in a cold climate, store them on your patio or in your garage for several weeks. To freeze baked cookies, separate cooled baked cookies with small sheets of wax paper and place them in a freezer-safe container. Freeze up to 3 months for best results. 
  7. Make ahead: Mix up the dough, wrap it in waxed paper and foil, then freeze (instead of refrigerate) the Fruitcake Cookie rolls for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake and proceed with step 5, remove the log from the freezer and let it thaw for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Because they’re semi-frozen, they’ll likely need a minute or two extra in the oven to bake.
  8. Freezer: Freeze the uncut, unbaked logs of cookie dough for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, remove the log from the freezer and let it warm up for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Cut the cookies into slices using a sharp chef’s knife, or a serrated knife, if that works better. Bake according to the recipe instructions (15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 77mgPotassium: 97mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 292IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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