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Fruitcake Christmas Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min./batch

Makes

4 dozen

As holiday gifts, these rich fruit-and nut-filled cookies are pretty and practical. These are great make ahead Christmas cookies —the taste actually gets better over time! —Julia Funkhouser, Carson, Iowa
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups dates, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces red candied cherries, halved
  • 4 ounces candied pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  2. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container. (Cookies are best after a few days.)
Fruitcake Cookies Tips

How do you toast whole hazelnuts for fruitcake cookies?

Bake whole hazelnuts in a shallow pan in a 350°F oven until fragrant and lightly browned about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. To remove the skins, wrap hazelnuts in a tea towel; and rub with the towel to loosen skins. Alternatively, you can also toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat following the same instructions as the oven method. Check out all the different ways to toast nuts!

How can you make fruitcake cookies your own?

Fruitcake cookies are a great way to try out different nuts, dried and candied fruits and experimenting with new flavors and textures. If you're feeling adventurous, try making your own dried fruit to incorporate into your fruitcake cookies!

Can you make fruitcake cookies ahead of time?

Yes—we even recommend making these cookies a few days prior to serving them. This will allow the flavors from the candied fruits to fully develop. If stored in an airtight container, the cookies will keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Here’s a guide to how long different types of cookies last.

—Ellie Crowley, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 118 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 65mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.