The Fruitcake Alternative

December 10, 2012

Need a holiday hand? We've got you covered with two straight weeks of Holiday Survival Recipes -- the ones you can rely on to keep your guests (and you) feeling festive.

Today: Your New Fruitcake Alternative


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Fruitcake is the butt of many a holiday joke. It's the loaf that doesn't get any love on the dessert table, the unwelcome uncle with his offensive jokes and ugly light-up sweater. As a gift, it conveys more a sense of passive aggression than sweet holiday cheer. 

But, still, it's a tradition.

So, if you're keen on keeping up tradition, or you've got a soft spot in your heart for those bite-sized pieces of candied fruit, spin this obligatory holiday dessert into something your guests will welcome with joy. These Fruitcake-Inspired Brownies from JessicaBakes take decadent, ultra-chocolate brownies and decorate them with tart dried fruit and a nutty crunch. Add them to your holiday dessert spread, and you'll please fruitcake lovers and haters alike. Because there's nothing like dessert to bring families together over the holidays.

Fruitcake-Inspired Brownies from JessicaBakes

Makes a 9 x 13" dish of brownies

3/4 cups unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cups + 1 tbsp. AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup candied orange bits
1/4 cup dates, chopped coarsely
5 large eggs
2 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup roasted unsalted walnuts, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts, chopped coarsely
1 cup roasted unsalted pecans, chopped coarsely

See the recipe (and save and print it) here.


Photo by James Ransom

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Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull