Black Cake Cookie

November 23, 2021
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Author Notes

Note: If Burnt Sugar Browning is not used the cookies will lose their name-sake coloring but won’t lose out on flavor. Do not substitute with Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet browning or others without first checking the ingredients as they often contain savory elements like garlic powder. I recommend the Grace or Blue Mountain Country brands.
Jillian Atkinson

  • Prep time 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • makes Makes about 3 dozen chewy 2-3 inch cookies
  • Fruit mixture
  • 1 cup (180g) black raisins, divided
  • 1/2 cup (90g) pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup (90g) dried currants
  • 3/4 cup tawny or ruby port wine
  • 2 tablespoons Wray and Nephew (or your favorite) white rum
  • Cookie dough
  • 1 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups (260g) brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon store-bought burnt sugar browning (optional; see note)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract/paste
  • 1 teaspoon white rum (or rum extract)
  • 1 tablespoon port wine
  • 3 1/2 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground or grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (75g) coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
In This Recipe
  1. Make the fruit mixture: Pulse ½ cup (90g) raisins, pitted prunes, and currants in a food processor to make a coarse chop. If you don’t have a food processor, chop by hand until everything is about the size of whole dried currants.
  2. Add chopped dried fruit to a medium pot along with the remaining whole raisins, port wine and rum. Bring the pot to a boil for about 1 minute, then cover and turn down to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and reduce the heat as necessary to keep from scorching. You’re looking for a moist near-paste, with all of the liquid absorbed.Transfer to a small bowl, then to the refrigerator to cool completely, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Alternatively, whisk over an ice bath or transfer to the freezer to speed up the process.)
  3. When the fruit is cool, make the cookie dough: Melt butter slowly on the stovetop over medium heat or in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments, tipping or swirling the bowl at each interval. Do not allow the butter to sputter or brown. Transfer melted butter to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, and spices in a medium bowl, mix well, and set aside.
  5. Using a hand mixer, in a mixing bowl with butter, now cooled slightly, beat in brown and white sugar until crumbly and combined. Beat in eggs one at a time and beat until mixture is fluffy and lighter in color, 1 minute.
  6. Add vanilla, port, rum, and burnt sugar browning to the mixture and beat until mixed well, scraping down the sides of the bowl to evenly combine.
  7. Add dry mixture in 3 additions, alternating the flour mixture with fruit mixture, folding to combine without overmixing and ending with the last flour. Fold in the walnuts, if using. Cover the cookie mixture with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
  8. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using cold cookie dough and using a medium cookie scoop, scoop 3-tbsp-sized (1.5 oz, or a little larger than a golf ball) balls of dough, onto cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until puffed and dry-looking.
  9. Allow cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat steps 8-9 using a cold cookie sheet for remaining cookie dough and allow cookies to cool completely before storage in an airtight container.

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