I'm off to a Christmas brunch and cookie swap this morning and this is what I'm taking. It is the perfect recipe to start the Christmas cookie baking season. Even people who hate fruit cake will love these. Yes, this is the recipe I promised the other day when I posted the Light Fruit Cake recipe. I average making 2 or 3 batches of these each holiday season. They don't have to sit as long to ripen as a fruit cake, make wonderful gifts packaged in a pretty cookie tin and people start asking for them before Thanksgiving.
If you have a stand mixer, please use it. If not, get the hubby or big strong someone to stir for you. The longer they sit the better they get. At least let them ripen for a day or two in a cookie tin with tight fitting lid.
This is a really old recipe. I have made them for over 35 years. Originally this came to me from an old boy friends ex-mother-in-law. Now that's a story for a different day!
8 dozen cookies
1/2 cup good bourbon
3 cups seedless raisins
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground gloves
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 pound pecan halves (not chopped)
1/2 pound citron, chopped
1 pound candied cherries, whole
Pour bourbon over raisins; let stand for 1 hour. I have let them stand overnight. Sift together flour and spices; set aside. Cream butter and brown sugar; add eggs, beating well. Blend in dry ingredients. Stir in raisins, pecans, citron, and cherries. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. They may not look like they are done but they are.
Cool on racks and store in air tight containers. I also cover them with cheesecloth soaked in additional bourbon.
Bring on the eggnog!
COOK'S NOTE: If you absolutely do not use liquor grape juice works well also.