1995 3rd place: christmas rocks

Yield: 6 Dozen

Measure Ingredient
3 cups All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Unsweetened cocoa
¾ teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Mace
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
½ teaspoon Ground ginger
½ teaspoon Allspice
¼ pounds Candied pineapple
¼ pounds Citron
¼ pounds Candied orange peel
¼ pounds Pitted dates
¼ pounds Figs
¼ cup Dried or candied cherries
1 pounds Chopped pecans
1 cup Raisins
½ cup Dried currants
1 cup Unsalted butter, softened
1½ cup Sugar
3 Eggs
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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