|3 cups||All-purpose flour|
|1 tablespoon||Unsweetened cocoa|
|¾ teaspoon||Baking soda|
|½ teaspoon||Ground ginger|
|¼ pounds||Candied pineapple|
|¼ pounds||Candied orange peel|
|¼ pounds||Pitted dates|
|¼ cup||Dried or candied cherries|
|1 pounds||Chopped pecans|
|½ cup||Dried currants|
|1 cup||Unsalted butter, softened|
|1 tablespoon||Cold, strong coffee|
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet(s). Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and spices. Cut candied fruits, dates and figs into small pieces and toss with a small amount of the flour mixture. Combine in a large bowl with the pecans, raisins and currants. Set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer on high speed until light, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the coffee. Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined.
Using a wooden spoon, fold in the fruit and nut mixture to coat all the pieces.
3. Drop batter onto baking sheet in walnut-size mounds leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake until set and tops are lightly browned, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container, with a small wedge of apple to keep them soft. The cookies may be glazed or sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, if desired.
Third-place winner in the 1995 Chicago Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest: by Phyllis Theodos
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