Monday, February 02, 2009

Fruit cake cookies - eggless

Dear foodies,

Happy Birthday !
Fruit Cake Cookie! Isn't that like the most perfect set of words that can be put to together...whats not to love in that combination! I saw this recipe on Ina Garten's show Barefoot Contessa and knew I had to try it out soon. I love fruit cake, but haven't been super successful in perfecting a recipe for it. But to have a cookie that tastes just like it is just wonderful! I like most of IG's recipes, atleast watching them :D She does make a huge quantity of everything though and uses quite a bit of butter, but its her technique & cooking style that I like.

My main attraction towards this particular recipe, (apart from the name :D), was that it called for just one egg, now that could easily be substituted. I wanted to make them the very next day but then I hesitated. Making a whole batch of these decadent cookies with just me around wouldn't be good news for my weighing scale. So I waited for the perfect occasion and it came by earlier than expected. Its my brother's birthday today (Happy Birthday!) and I went to visit him this past weekend. I made a huge batch of these cookies and took them along with me. Trust me, a recipe cannot get any easier and also give such splendid results. A few of my brother's friends tasted it too and they only had compliments for me. *blush*

For those who are familiar with the famous Karachi bakery's fruit biscuits in Hyderabad, these cookies taste very similar to them, actually even better! I now can't wait to try the other biscuits that the bakery sells using this recipe as a base. woohoo! Another advantage with this recipe is that the dough freezes very well. It needs to be refrigerated for 1-2hrs before baking, but you can easily freeze and store it for a couple of weeks in there. Whenever you are in the mood for decadence, bring the dough out, cut a few cookies to bake and send the rest of the dough back to the freezer, soo convenient! Perfect for weekday parties too, and psst, the dough is delicious on its own too :D

For once I thought I will follow the recipe as is, but ended up tweaking it a little since the dough turned out to be really wet. I used a different combination of fruits and also used lesser sugar. I did not have brown sugar and used regular sugar instead. The fruits also contribute to the sweetness of the cookies, so adjust the amount of sugar to suit your needs. Below are the measurements I used, for the original recipe click here.

Fruit Cake Cookies (40-45 small cookies)
  • 1 cup, packed - mixed fruits and nuts, chopped
  • I used a combination of prunes, raisins, dried cranberries, blueberries & cherries. For the nuts, I choose unsalted roasted pecans (cashews will be great too)
  • 1 Tbsp - Sherry or Red wine
  • 1/2 Tbsp - lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp - Honey
  • 1 stick - unsalted Butter (~ 8 Tbsp), at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup - sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp - powdered Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp - powdered nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp - Orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp - pure Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp - ground Flax seeds + 1.5 Tbsp - water
  • 1 1/3 + 2/3 cup - All purpose flour
  1. Place the chopped fruits and nuts in a bowl and mix in the sherry/wine, honey and lemon juice. Cover the bowl and let them soak overnight at room temperature.
  2. The next day, microwave the ground flax seeds along with the water for 30secs. Using a fork beat the mixture and microwave again for 15secs & beat. Set aside and allow it to cool.
  3. In a wide glass bowl (or electric mixer) cream the butter, sugar, salt, orange zest, vanilla extract, clove and nutmeg powders until you get a smooth consistency. It took me 3-4mins using a hand mixer on low speed.
  4. Sift the flour to remove lumps. Add all the flax seed mixture and the flour in 1/3rd portions. Mix at a low speed. The dough was really sticky even after the 11/3 cups were added, so I added an additional 1/2 cup of flour and mixed it in with a spatula. Don't over mix the dough since it will develop gluten and you will end up with really tough cookies.
  5. Next add the fruits along with any leftover soaking liquid and fold it onto the dough. I added a couple of Tbsps of flour along with it.
  6. Divide the dough in half and place each half on the longer end of a 15" wax/parchment paper. Shape and roll it into a log. The cross-section will give you the final shape/size of your cookie. (These cookies do not spread while cooking. I moistened my palms lightly with water to help me shape the logs, or roll the paper on the dough and use it to help shape). Repeat with the other half of the dough and refrigerate for 1-2hrs or until firm. If not using immediately move them to the freezer.
  7. When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350deg. With a sharp knife cut the log into 1/2 inch rounds. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange them, 1/2 inch apart.
  8. Bake for 15-20mins, checking on them every minute after the 15 minute point. When the edges start to turn a light golden take them out. They will continue to cook for a few more minutes outside the oven. Lift the foil and place it on the counter-top so the residual heat in the pan does not burn them.
These cookies are dotted with fruits all along and their sweet wine soaked flavor really comes through. I am in love with them. They taste a lot like a fruit cake but in a smaller, more flavorful package, and you cannot have just one. They crumble in your mouth and slowly melt away as you chew on the bits of fruit...bliss!

Last Sunday I made a tiny batch of 6 cookies and the rest of the dough was stashed in the freezer. I kept going back to the kitchen with excuses to have a bite or two and in no time all 6 cookies vanished :D On Thursday evening, all I had to do was slice them, pop them into the oven and pack before heading to the airport. My brother and his friends loved the cookies, and they could not believe it was home made. Did I tell you how gorgeous the weather in Houston is...aah, my heart craved for the sunshine and did not want to come back to this igloo of a place! hmph

When I started out with the recipe I had soaked 2 cups of the fruits & nuts. I refrigerated the unused cup and made another batch of cookie dough on Wednesday. They will be off to a few friends this week. These cookies are soo good that you will want to share it with everyone (and get tonnes of compliments in exchange :-P) I wanted to dip half of each cookie in some tempered chocolate, but I was soo in love with the fruity flavor that I let them be that way. May be you can try that out and let me know how it is ? Deal ?

47 thoughts:

Sonia said...

Aaahh....that sinfully Cookies!!! Your picures are as beautiful as ever. :) Great job Priya. It's noon here and I am craving for it. :(
I'll make it asap.

Suparna said...

hi priya,

yummmmmm....pure bliss! wow the eggless version of fruit cake seems as easy and interesting. I would surely try my hands on baking one for myself ;)

Thanks for the lovely recipe...and gr8 pics

amna said...

such amazing pics!! and love the cookie recipe too :)

sriharivatsan said...

Awesome pictures..Cookies look declious and my tastebuds started to crave for it..Am sure your brother would have enjoyed this delectable ones on his bday!!

Unknown said...

Lovely looking Cookies..

jayasree said...

Wow... We love Karachi biscuits. Thanks for the eggless recipe.
Your pics make me drooool. Bookmarked.

sunita said...

Gorgeous cookies, Priya.

Birthday wishes to your brother.

indosungod said...

Lovely cookies. Lucky brother. Birthday wishes to him.

Anonymous said...

lovely photos! u make cooking so easier. i wish i were ur brother.wish him happy birthday

Pavithra Kodical said...

Eye catching!!!I wanna grab some :)
Amazing recipe dear..Looks perfect..

Pavani said...

I love Karachi bakery cookies and your cookies look fresh and I'm sure taste much better. I'm definitely going to try these soon. Thanks for the recipe, extremely inspiring (to make) write-up and drool-worthy pics.

Bhagyashri said...

The cookies look too good! The recipe sounds quite easy as well..
Great pics too...:)

veggie belly said...

What a great idea! You turned a fruit cake into a cookie! I love the first picture and I love the background in it, looks so elegant.

Jaya said...

Looks absolutely divine. It looks like one of my favorite biscuits from Bombay.. we used to call it Nankattai or something. YUMMY!

Priya said...

Sonu, make some now, go go :D

Suparna, you must try these. Like I mentioned in the post, the recipe couldn't be any simpler. Let me know when you bake them :)

Nags, do try it out sometime :)

Sriharivatsan, He sure did! I love fruit n nut combos, be it with chocolate, cake or these cookies.

Madhu, thank you :)

Jayasree, the Karachi biscuits are my fav too. I liked these better cos of the wine flavor. I think the cashew ones will be easier to make since the pre-soaking step won't be needed.

Sunita, will pass them on to my brother :) Thank you.

Priya said...

ISG,Thank you :) I'll pass on the wishes to him.

Anon, thank you for the sweet comment :) I will pass on the b'day wishes to my brother. Do try these cookies sometime & keep visiting :)

Pavithra, I wish I could give you some of the cookies :( do try baking them though :)

Priya said...

Pavani, did you see that they were selling these two at the airport too? We bought a couple of boxes while traveling in India. They got over so fast, all my relatives enjoyed them too. Do try these out, I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

Bhagyashri, even I was surprised by how simple the recipe looked. That's the reason I wanted to try them out immediately :)

Sala, thats a small square piece of paper I bought at Michaels. They have many designs, but the size is a lil too small.

Jaya, yes, these are butter biscuits too like Nankatai, which are more on the savory side, I think, with jeera in them. I am a huge fan of the fruit n nut combo.

KonkaniBlogger said...

Amazing these cookies look. Loved the pics and the texture.

Anonymous said...

Priya those pictures are just stunning!! That recipe looks simple & u make it sound like it too. but the cookies looks complex & beautiful. I have to make these sometimes. Anything with fruit cake flavor is always my fav.

Vidhya said...

thats delicious Priya.... oh my god.. I can have those cookies...

Anonymous said...

I miss those biscuits from Karachi Bakery :-(
I will definitely be trying these. Thanks for sharing!

Nithya Praveen said...

Awww this looks awesome..treat to the eyes:-P Sinful! Its totally new to me...i've nvr heard abt it.

Vaishali said...

These look incredible, Priya, and the wine is an unusual addition, although I'm sure it adds a zing. I enjoy watching Ina Garten too.

Anonymous said...

wow!lovely cookies.Want to bake them real soon but the tricky part is holding the dough together....miss those karachi biscuits.

Anita said...

These are great looking cookies! I so want to bake me a batch!

Anonymous said...

Your cookies looks perfect. I would love to make thse soon.


Rajitha said...

wow...those look delicious...i should make these for sure. love fruit cake too...i really do not know why these guys here hate it!

Bharathi said...

I tried these cookies and they tasted awesome though I should have baked them a little longer cause my cookies turned more chewy than crispy.

Priya dharshini said...

Wow...tempting cookies..cant resist..i tried ur cookies,it was awesome..thank u for sharing good recipes....

Soma said...

When I saw the theme for CLICK:Cookies, the first thing that I thought was these cookies. Aren't you going to send these over? Please..:-)

Sam said...

I love fruit cake. Awesome pictures! Cookies look so delicious! so beautiful. Can't wait to see your posting, my mouth is watering. Will try it out soon. Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Priya,
Thanks a lot for this recipe. I just tried out these cookies and have a few Q's. Should I grease the foil or not when baking? I butered the alluminium foil and my cookies burnt on the bottom but were fine on top. Can you let me know?


Anonymous said...

Also my cookies are still soft 15 miues after taking them out. What did I do wrong??


Priya said...

Aparna, there is enough butter in the cookies to keep them from sticking, so the foil doesn't need to be buttered. The extra butter might have browned the bottoms a lot sooner than the cookies could cook. Place the baking sheet in the middle rack and bake until the tops look a light golden color. Due to difference in oven temps you might have to adjust the baking times (+/- 2mins), but keep a watch after 15mins.
Let me know if you make a second batch. I am making some right now :)

Priya Ajay said...

Hey Priya,

ur fotos are too gud.....I used to luv karachi biscuits since my childhood....
I will definitely try ur recipe.


sravani said...

Hi Priya,

I tried them, they really turned out very good.......... I can't tell in words.The taste, texture are simply superb. I just added tutti fruits.

Thanks for such a wonderful recipe.

mahejabeen said...

priya wonderful recipe , but i do not want to use sherry !! what shd i replace it with and i do not want to use egg either ?? pls advise

Eat Hearty said...

Hi Priya,

Looks delicious and I want to try them soon!! Just wanted to check if I can skip wine from the recipe?


Priya said...

You can definitely skip wine and use apple/orange juice instead.

Jayanthi Kanderi said...

I did try this recipe a couple of times. We love it. My 2 yr old daughter loves it. But I found the 1/3 cup sugar way too less. It was more perfect when I used 1/2 cup. Thank you so much for this recipe.

- Jay Kanderi

Suparna said...

nice recipe i will try it...

Sia said...

Priya, i made them on weekend (following ur and Ina's recipe) with few tweaks and they have turned out fantastic! I will be posting the recipe today in my blog. thank you for the posting such a wonderful recipe :)

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