My family always stocked up on pecans each fall so we'd be ready for the holiday baking season. Dr. Berry was a family friend and veterinarian, and his wife, Dew, was our source for great pecans. She shared this nutty fruitcake cookie with my mom thirty-five years ago, and it's been a holiday favorite ever since.--Julie Christopher
1 1/2 pounds raisins (4 cups)
1/3 cup bourbon
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup loosely packed orange zest
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup bourbon
5 cups pecans, chopped
1 pound candied pineapple, chopped (2 1/2 cups)
1/2 pound red candied cherries, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 pound green candied cherries, chopped (about 1 cup)
How to Make It
Combine raisins and 1/3 cup bourbon in a very large bowl; toss. Set aside.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add brown sugar, and beat until fluffy. Add orange zest and eggs, beating well. Dissolve baking soda in milk; stir into butter mixture. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring well. Stir in 1/2 cup bourbon.
Add pecans and candied fruit to raisin mixture; stir well. Add butter mixture and stir until nuts and fruit are thoroughly coated. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.
Bake at 375° for 13 minutes or until edges are just beginning to brown. Immediately remove to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight containers between layers of wax paper or freeze up to 1 month.
Note: Cookies become more moist and flavorful the day after preparation.