Fruitcake-Inspired Brownies

October 20, 2011
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Brownies with all the classic fruitcake goodies...well, okay, not those scarily colored red and green mystery candied fruits, but you get the point. Lots of dried fruit and nuts surrounded by melt-in-your-mouth deep chocolate brownies.

The method used here to make the brownies is a more old-fashioned one where you whip the "wet" ingredients together to incorporate air into the batter. I also add a touch of baking powder due to the weight of the nuts and fruit, but the end result is much better than what I typically find. —JessicaBakes

Test Kitchen Notes

We know what you’re thinking: Fruitcake? Blech! But before you move on, let us reassure you that JessicaBakes has taken the best elements of fruitcake -- okay, not the booze, but lots of different dried and candied fruit and nuts -- and crammed them into a rich, gooey chocolate brownie. It’s an embarrassment of riches. The brownies are intensely chocolatey, and almost mousselike (they call for 5 whole eggs and a mere ¾ cup of flour); the extreme chocolate factor might even be overwhelming without the tartness and crunch of the fruit and nuts, which are an ideal counterpoint. Fruitcake-haters, rejoice! – A&M —The Editors

  • Makes a 9 x 13" dish of brownies
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup
    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
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13" glass baking dish (metal will do in a pinch).
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Set aside to cool.
  3. Sift the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking powder into a small mixing bowl. Don't skip the sifting or you will have to fold the batter more later on to fully incorporate the flour in. Sift sift sift! (If your dried fruit is sticking together, toss it around in the flour mixture to help keep it from clinging together in the batter.)
  4. Using a mixer with the whisk attachment (or, if you like pain and labor, just a whisk) beat the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla on high speed until the mixture thickens and becomes pale in color and falls from the beater in a wide ribbon that folds back on itself, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture. Add the flour, dried fruit, and nuts EXCEPT the pecans; fold it in quickly but gently with the spatula so that you don't deflate the air you just incorporated into the eggs.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with the top of the spatula. Sprinkle the pecans over the top. Bake until the top looks slightly cracked and feels soft to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

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