Welcome again to an Ina First Friday! (November already?!!)
This month is dessert....pretty convenient, right? Just when we're beginning to think about holiday entertaining. I'm reposting this recipe from 4 years ago because these cookies are rather unusual and will look marvelous on your holiday cookie tray. Yes, they really will, even though this old photo does not show them in the best light. LOL. They travel beautifully and freeze a dream. I've been making and gifting these gems for years and love that Ina used dried fruit instead of that appalling candied fruit. I do, however, make some changes to her recipe. I add cinnamon, nutmeg and some orange zest. Most of the time I macerate the fruit in rum or brandy instead of sherry. Your choice. These are crisp little shortbread type cookies, chewy with the fruit.
Dried Fruit Cookies
Adapted from Ina Garten
1/2 pound dried figs
1/4 pound raisins
2 ounces dried red cherries
2 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sherry, brandy or rum
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Orange zest from 1/2 an orange
6 ounces chopped, toasted pecans
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed 1 extra-large egg
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
Method:Cut off the hard stems of the figs with scissors and coarsely chop the figs. Combine the figs, raisins, cherries, apricots, honey, sherry (rum or brandy), lemon juice, orange rind, pecans, and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight at room temperature.
In an electric mixer cream the butter, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, superfine sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just until combined.
Add the fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl. Divide the dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12 by 18-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll each half into a log, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch thick, making an 18-inch-long roll. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on parchment paper lined sheet pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly