It happens at this time every year…you can’t avoid it…the fruitcake joke. I have to admit, I never really understood it, since I was never subjected to fruitcake growing up. I was never gifted it, never tried it, never really thought about it. All I knew is it must be really, really bad for it to somehow come up as this terrible thing every year.
Enter Christmas 2014 – what I am deeming as the “fruitcake phase.” I found out from my mom and aunt that not only did they grow up with my grandpa making fruitcake every year, but he never really gave it away…since he loved it so much. To this day, it is the only thing he has ever baked in his entire life – that is how much he loves the stuff. So, we found the old recipe he used, from a 1950 copy of the Gourmet Cookbook. Still having this cookbook is a treasure in itself, and I think this is about as classic of a fruitcake as you can get.
So, we made a few loaves…and I started to understand the stigma around the dreaded dessert. It’s a dense cake full of weird candied fruit whose sole purpose is to put in the cakes, and then it literally “ripens” in booze for a few weeks. What? I’m all about things chillin in booze, but it was a little weird. However, this fruitcake is real, it’s not a store-bought 10 pound bowling ball that’s already wrapped and easy to regift. It’s real, old-school ingredients, that really don’t end up tasting that bad, if you are into that sort of thing. Which my family is. Jordan and I are still on the fence about classic fruitcake, but I totally get it now (finally). But I couldn’t stop there, I had to go on and make fruitcake cookies…
Don’t ask about the cat…He was apparently going through a fruitcake phase as well. Anyways though, I was a tad skeptical about these cookies. I hoped they would be lighter than actual fruitcake while I was letting the fruit soak in some booze. I hoped people would actually want to eat them…and they turned out great! They are not the prettiest cookie in the world…Sort of like the ugly duckling of cookies, not too cute, but once they hit your lips…so good! Continue reading