Super soft, chewy, and perfectly sweet, these fruitcake cookies are studded with nuts and dried fruit, and they’re so EASY to make!
Happy last week in November! The countdown to Christmas is HERE! And we all know what that means: the grocery store will play “All I Want for Christmas is You” seemingly nonstop until January.
It’s like Mariah Carey haunts every time I run out to pick up a pint of milk. (And by milk I mean ice cream.)
Because baking soothes my nerves like nothing else, I think some cookies are called for right about now. Delicious and super-chewy fruitcake cookies are the cure for what ails us this holiday season! I mean that literally–cranberries are packed with Vitamin C so these cookies are basically a cold preventive right? 😉
Why you’ll love these fruitcake cookies:
- They’re incredibly easy to make
- You can easily swap out the fruit/nuts listed in the recipe for your favorite mix-ins
- The dough freezes well so you can have cookies any time you want them!
How to Make Fruitcake Cookies
As with so many cookie recipes, we start these fruitcake cookies start with room temperature butter. Room temp butter is necessary to ensure your cookies mix properly and bake evenly. Leave cold butter out on your counter for about half an hour and you should be ready to go!
Combine your butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar (I used light brown but you can use dark brown if that’s what you have). Beat that mixture until it’s very light and fluffy, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
Beat in eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, then add the flour. Mix the flour in just until it’s incorporated; over-mixing will result in a tough cookie.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, and candied cherries (or whatever fruit/nuts you choose to use).
Baker’s tip: reserve some of your mix-ins, then press them into the tops of your cookies after you form the dough into balls. This makes the cookies extra pretty, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Chill the dough for at least an hour (or up to 2 days). This dough is very soft and chilling it is necessary in order to shape it into balls; the cookies also spread less when the dough is cold.
Once your dough has chilled, shape it into balls and arrange them on parchment-lined baking sheets. At this point, either bake your cookies until the edges are golden, or freeze the dough balls until solid, then pop them into freezer bags and leave frozen for up to 3 months. Bake them directly from the freezer.
Like I said above, you can use just about any nut or dried fruit that you want as long as you stick to the proportions listed in the recipe (2 3/4 cups). Dried pineapple would be AWESOME with the cranberries, as would dried apricots. You could also add some orange zest for a little change to the flavor profile.
Now tell me: what are you baking this holiday season? Cookies? Cakes? Pie after pie after pie? Let me know! Then bake yourself a batch of fruitcake cookies. You won’t be sorry!
Did you make these fruitcake cookies? Hooray! Post a pic on Insta and tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your gorgeous creations!
These fruitcake cookies are EASY to make, super soft and chewy, and totally perfect for Christmas!
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup candied cherries coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Combine the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer set to medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until well combined.
Add the baking soda and salt and beat to combine. Add flour and beat on medium speed until just incorporated.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in the cherries, pecans, raisins, and cranberries. (If you want, reserve a few of the mix-ins to press into the tops of the cookies just before you bake them.) Loosely cover. dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Form dough into balls of about 2 tablespoons of dough and arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.*
Bake 9 to 12 minutes, until golden around the edges. Cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes, then carefully remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store uneaten cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
* At this point you can freeze the dough (if you want), then transfer the dough balls to freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake directly from the freezer, adding another minute or two to the baking time.