Baby Fruitcakes

Preparation info

  • Makes

    2 dozen

    muffin-size
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

By Richard Sax

Published 1986

  • About

There are so many less-than-wonderful fruitcakes around that plenty of people say they’ll be happy if they never see a fruitcake again. These are something else entirely—tiny glazed cakes, chunky with the best dried fruits and nuts (rather than commercial chopped candied fruit), bound with a minimum of spice cake batter. You’ll need miniature muffin tins for these, though a regular-size muffin pan can also be used. Nonstick pans are a big help here, as are paper muffin liners.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup each raisins, golden raisins, dried currants, and chopped dates
  • cup chopped dried pineapple
  • cup chopped candled cherries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon or brandy (or apple cider)
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • cup each coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans, and almonds

    Method

    1. Place the raisins, golden raisins, currants, dates, pineapple, cherries, and crystallized ginger in a bowl. Toss with the bourbon and set aside to soak at least 30 minutes.
    2. Preheat the oven to 300°F., with racks in the center and bottom of the oven. Place a pan of hot water on the lower rack. Line miniature or regular-size muffin tins with paper muffin liners. If you don’t have paper liners, butter the pan(s) generously.
    3. Cream the butter and brown sugar in an electric mixer until light; then add the egg, mixing until smooth. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, baking powder, and baking soda onto a sheet of wax paper. Lower the mixer speed and add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, mixing just until blended, no longer. Stir in the fruit mixture with its soaking liquid, along with the walnuts, pecans, and almonds, mixing just until incorporated.
    4. Bake the fruitcakes until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 30 minutes (or 35 for regular-size muffin tins). Cool in the pan(s) for about 5 minutes; then run the tip of a knife blade around the cakes and remove from the pan(s) (leave the papper liners on). placing them on a wire rack over a sheet of wax papper.
    5. Bourbon Glaze: Place the corn syrup in a small pan and heat gently, just to thin it. Remove from heat, stir in the bourbon, and brush the tops of the fruitcakes with the glaze. Let stand until set; then store airtight. These keep well for at least a week, and can be mailed.