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LOCATION: Recipes >> Holidays >> Xmas Fruit Cookies 04

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1/2 cup unsifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup small mixed candied fruit
2 tablespoons candied citron
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup Myer's dark rum
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare at least two weeks before serving.

Place one oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to
325 degrees F. Set fluted tartlet tins or mini muffin tins on the
baking sheet so they are not touching (use two cookie sheets if
you have to, and rotate them during baking). Soften the butter.
Finely chop the candied fruit, citron, currants, and pecans. Place
the fruit and nuts into a small bowl and add 1 /4 cup of the rum.
Mix to combine. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon,
salt, and baking soda, then whisk together to combine evenly. In
a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating
with the molasses and milk. Add the candied fruit mixture with
the soaking rum and the vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Scrape the batter into gallon-sized freezer bag and close it
securely. Cut off a small piece from one of the corners of the
bag and pipe the batter into the tartlet molds. Don't fill them
quite full. (If you use mini-muffin tins, fill them a little less
than half full.) Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until batter just begins
to shrink away from the sides of the molds and the tops spring back
when lightly touched with a finger. Unmold the gems onto greased
or buttered wax paper and sprinkle or brush the tops with the
remaining rum. Set them so they are right side up and, if you
wish, place about 1/4 teaspoon of the minced candied cherries in
the center of each one. Cool completely. When cool, wrap each
gem in a small piece of plastic wrap.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. They are
delicious right after baking, but the rum mellows even more when
the gems ripen for several weeks. They will keep several months,
but at 4 months they have the ideal flavor.

NOTE: If you don't have enough tartlet molds to bake all the batter
at one time, store the batter in the refrigerator and bake it in
batches. Rinse out the molds after each batch and spray with
Baker's Joy or grease and flour them. Baker's Joy contains both
grease and flour and makes preparing the tartlet tins much easier.


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