I've had the flu for two weeks so I am very behind on my Christmas baking! I haven't even started on my on my cookies yet! This last weekend I made my first sculpted dog cake. She was supposed to look like their pet dog Cocoa, but I was not able to achieve a realistic look without using fondant. I think she is cute, she's just not what I had pictured in my head.
I was up until midnight last night making my fruitcakes. I must say, I think this is my best batch yet! I got the recipe for "Prize Fruitcake" from my step mom, who got it from her mom, who got it from her mom. I am the only who makes it in the family now. I do not like store bought fruitcake anymore. If you have never had a homemade fruitcake and don't think you like fruitcake, well just try this! My husband claimed he hated fruitcake, until he had mine. Now he is disappointed if it does not get made!
I'm going to give you the original recipe and give you my "changes" in parenthesis
1/2 box seeded raisins (3 cups, soak in grape juice overnight to plump or boil in water about 30 min.)
1/2 lb candied citron
1/4 lb candied orange peel
1/4 lb candied lemon peel (since you can't find the citron, lemon peel and orange peel anymore, I use about 1 lb of fruitcake mix instead)
1/4 lb candied cherries, leave whole (I get the 8 oz. package of red and green, save some for the top)
1/2 lb pitted dates (2 1/2 cups)
1/4 lb candied pineapples (I put in a whole 8 oz package)
1/2 lb walnuts, shelled (These are cheapest at Costco or in the bulk section)
* Find your biggest bowl and mix all the fruit and nuts together.
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mace
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves (If you don't already have all of these spices - go to your bulk section to get them)
* Sift into a bowl, then use a whisk to mix it all together.
1/2 lb butter (2 sticks)
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 dozen eggs
1/4 cup fruit juice (Marge always used OJ, I usually use grape)
*Prepare fruits and nuts. (cut up dates and nuts). Leave nuts in good size pieces. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and spices and sift 3x. ( I sift once, then use my whisk to finish mixing)) Sift about half this mixture over the fruits and work to separate. (This is why a big bowl is important, you need room to mix).
I baked 3 loaf pans and 8 mini loaf pans. Let cool, then remove from pans. Fruitcake is best if you let it rest for a while after baking, 2-6 weeks. Although I ate some for lunch today (Made them last night), and it was wonderful! So you can wait or not. It's your choice! After your fruit cakes have cooled down be sure to wrap each one in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, then put in a Ziploc baggie to seal in the freshness and to help the flavors meld together.
I don't think any Christmas is complete without a homemade fruitcake, so enjoy!