“I was afraid it was a fruitcake.”

Christmas Fruit Cookies

Have you ever heard those words? Fear no more. Mom made up a recipe that combined all the good parts of a fruitcake and put them into a little cookie. In her no-frills style, mom named them Christmas Fruit Cookies. We all loved them as kids but would not touch a piece of fruitcake. They are sweet and delicious with coffee or a glass of milk. In fact, that is what I had for breakfast today, coffee and a Christmas Fruit Cookie. Makes you look forward to getting up in the morning.

Hint: The great thing about this recipe is you can adapt it to your tastes. If you want more cookie and less fruit, just adjust the measurements. Or add less fruit, more nuts, whatever you like.

Mom’s original recipes were all geared toward her oven. For example, she says to bake them at 370 to 400 degrees for 10 minutes. When have you ever heard of setting your oven to 370 degrees? I made some yesterday and set the oven to 370 degrees (in honor of mom) but it was more like 15 minutes, not ten, as she noted. Then, I tried them at 350 degrees and it was 20 minutes. As you can see, there is a lot of leeway with her recipes.

I hope you’ll try them. They’re just that good! Merry Christmas.

Make a festive garnish by brushing rosemary sprigs with warm corn syrup and sprinkling with large sugar crystals. Add cranberries to complete the look.

Christmas Fruit Cookies

By Lois “DeDe” Garneau

  • 1/2 cup butter (always use unsalted for baking)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

Cream the above ingredients together, then add:

  • 1-1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture.

Stir in:

  • 1 lb. chopped dates — coated with flour — I buy the pre-cut dates in bags, much easier, they didn’t have these back then
  • 1/2 pound candied fruit — use red and green cherries, sometimes they are mixed with pineapple, all good
  • 1/2 pound chopped nuts — mom used walnuts, I prefer pecans

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet; drop one teaspoon dough. Bake at 370-400 degrees for ten minutes. Hint: adjust to your own oven.