Fruit Cake Cookies
2 1/2 cups dates, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons rum
3/4 cup candied cherries
3/4 cup white raisins
2 slices candied pineapple, coarsely chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped toasted walnuts*
2 cups coarsely chopped toasted almonds*
2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans*
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
* How to toast nuts - Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking pan (one with walls is best) for toasting in the oven. Cook at 400 degrees F for 7 to 10 minutes or until the nuts start to turn golden. Shake the pan halfway through toasting.
In the top of a double boiler over hot water, combine dates and rum; let steep 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine candied cherries, white raisins, candied pineapple, walnuts, almonds, and pecans. Sift 1/4 cup flour over the fruit and nut mixture; stir until well blended. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; add egg and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Sift cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and mace into butter mixture; stir until well blended. Add steeped dates, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and almond extract to batter; stir until well blended. Add fruit and nut mixture; stir until well blended.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown (be careful not to over bake). Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Store cookies in an airtight container.
NOTE: You can use any combination of nuts or fruits in the recipe that you wish. Whatever you have on hand in the pantry.
Yields 5 dozen cookies.