jubilee jumbles (aka fruitcake cookies)

Jubilee jumbles 3 1024x682 jubilee jumbles (aka fruitcake cookies)

Steph, the awesome social media manager at America’s Test Kitchen, sent me the ATK Holiday Cookies 2010 Special Issue and just a week after I got it in the mail, it looks like I’ve had it for over a year. Steph said it’s her favorite and I can see why. As I flipped through the pages over and over again trying to come up with my shortlist of cookies to make for Christmas, I realized there were no less than 15 things that I wanted to make over the weekend.

Jubilee jumbles 1 1024x682 jubilee jumbles (aka fruitcake cookies)

Jubilee jumbles 2 1024x682 jubilee jumbles (aka fruitcake cookies)

Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of time, so I had to narrow the list down and these jubilee jumbles were an easy pick. My mom has made fruitcake cookies every Christmas for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never really seen them anywhere else so I was really excited to see these in the ATK Special Issue. Joseph loves my mom’s fruitcake cookies, so he was 100% behind trying this new recipe.

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The main differences between the two cookies are that these have almonds instead of pecans, the recipe calls for the whole fruitcake mix rather than just green and red candied cherries and dates, and the candied fruitcake mix is soaked in brandy, and they’re finished off with a glaze. To be honest, we couldn’t quite decide which cookies we like better – my mom’s or America’s Test Kitchen. I love that the citrus that the candied lemon and orange peel in the fruitcake mix adds, and I love that it’s soaked in brandy. At the same time, the dough on the other cookies has such a great, deep rich brown sugar and butter flavor, accented by buttermilk.

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When I made these, Joseph commented that he thought he would prefer the cookies without the glaze – he thought it added too much sweetness. We had leftover fruitcake mix so I decided to try a second batch with no glaze and with with pecans instead of almonds and Joseph (after lots of hemming and hawing and sampling) decided he preferred the ones with the glaze. Admittedly that was in part because he preferred the almonds to the pecans. Whatever way you decide to go, these cookies are a great treat to make for the holidays – they’re as festive as they are tasty!

In other news, congratulations to Jessica, our random winner of the signed Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook from last week’s giveaway and thank you to everyone who entered!

Jubilee Jumbles (aka fruitcake cookies)

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

    For cookies:
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 1/4 cups fruitcake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup blanched, slivered almonds, toasted and cooled
  • For glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Position oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place brandy and fruitcake mix in a small, microwave safe bowl and microwave, covered, for about 45 seconds. Cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, the sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined after each addition. Stir in the fruit mixture and almonds.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until the centers are firm and the edges are light golden brown, about 10-12 minutes, switching the lower the upper baking sheets halfway through. Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Whisk together the confectioner's sugara and lemon juice and drizzle over cookies. Allow to dry, about 30 minutes.
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 jubilee jumbles (aka fruitcake cookies)

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