If you like fruitcake but don't have the patience to make it, these bourbon cookies packed with candied fruit are a great substitute. Bourbon lovers will appreciate the flavor, which is not subtle. If you are interested in the cookies but not quite sure how they'll be received, the recipe halves well.
Here is an updated picture for 2020. I forgot how good these are. I left out the golden raisins for the latest batch and the cookies were fine, though a bit flatter with less fruit plump them up.
Candied Fruit & Bourbon Cookies Notes
- It may seem obvious, but the brand of dried fruit you use will really make a difference. Some brands are better than others, but sometimes we have to go with whatever the stores have because dried fruit is usually only on the shelves around the holidays. Sometimes it appears as early as September so that fruitcake makers can get a head start.
- If you can't find candied fruit, you can order it.
- The cookies improve as they it, so have a tin ready and store your baked cookies at room temperature in a closed tin.
Candied Fruit & Bourbon Cookies
- 1 pound 16 oz chopped candied fruit (cherries, pineapples, oranges, citron mix)
- 1 ¼ cups golden raisins
- ⅔ cup Bourbon whiskey
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (250 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 7 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled (100 grams)
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten in a separate bowl
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
- 2 ½ cups chopped walnuts & pecans or use all pecans or all walnuts
- Mix the candied fruit and raisins in a bowl, then pour in the Bourbon and stir to coat fruit. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment or grease well.
- Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves and both sugars in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the beaten eggs, cooled melted butter, and baking soda/water mixture to flour mixture and stir until ingredients are mixed. Add the soaked fruit and nuts and stir until blended.
- Scoop batter up by generously heaping teaspoonfuls and place a couple of inches apart on baking sheets – the cookies puff up, but they don’t spread too much. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and let cool. Store covered and let the Bourbon flavor mellow.