There’s no reason you have to commit yourself to ginormous batches of fruitcake, made weeks or months ahead of the holidays, to get the dark, chewy, fruity flavour of fruitcake – make them cookie-sized, loaded with dried fruit and nuts, with just enough batter to hold them together.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
grated zest and juice of an orange
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin-pie spice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 cups dried fruit (such as raisins, currants, cherries, cranberries, chopped apricots, dates and figs)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and the orange zest until fluffy. Add the eggs, the juice of the orange and vanilla and beat until well blended.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon or pumpkin-pie spice, ginger and salt and stir just until combined. Stir in the dried fruit and chopped walnuts or pecans. Drop by the spoonful onto a parchment-lined sheet and bake at 350?F for 14-15 minutes, until pale golden and set.
Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.