Instead of baking or giving a traditional holiday fruitcake, make fruitcake cookies instead. Fruitcake's first cousin in cookie form contains all the ingredients you love in fruitcake--candied cherries, chopped pecans, cinnamon, allspice and rum--just in smaller bite-sized portions. Santa will be very pleased if you leave a plate of these treats out for him when he stops by your house this Christmas Eve.
3 cups chopped pecans
1 (8-ounce) package chopped dates
1 (8-ounce) package candied pineapple, chopped
1 (4-ounce) package candied red cherries, chopped
1 (4-ounce) package candied green cherries, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons rum or wine
How to Make It
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add 1 cup flour, stirring to coat well. Set aside.
Cream butter in a large mixing bowl; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, beating until well blended.
Dissolve soda in buttermilk. Combine remaining flour, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture and rum, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in fruit mixture.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets, and cool on wire racks.