Ashland Living - Daily Independent Winter 2018 - Page 21

FRUITCAKE COOKIES 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 7 ounces almond paste (1 tube), cut into small pieces 1 cup sugar 2 large eggs, room temperature 1/4 cup kirsch (a clear, colorless fruit brandy) 1 pound mixed candied and dried fruit, such as glace cherries, dried papaya, and candied citron, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups) Poured Chocolate Fondant Edible gold leaf, for decorating (optional) 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides. Butter parchment. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, and baking powder. 2. Pulse almond paste in a food processor until crumbly; add sugar and pulse just to combine. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 2 tablespoons kirsch. Add flour mixture, beating on low speed, until fully combined. Beat in fruit. 3. Scrape batter into prepared sheet, smoothing top with an off-set spatula. Bake until pale golden, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons kirsch. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let cool 45 minutes. Use parchment overhang to lift out of pan; let cool completely on rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. Using a sharp knife, trim edges and cut into 1 1/4-inch squares. 4. Working in batches and keeping the rest in the refrigerator, place one cookie on a fork. Spoon fondant over top, allowing it to coat entire cake and excess to drip back into bowl. Place on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to set. If at any time fondant gets too thick, add hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and warm in the microwave or over a pot of simmering water. Let cookies stand until set, about 30 minutes. If desired, decorate with a few flecks of edible gold leaf. Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container up to 5 days. ASHLAND LIVING | WINTER 2018 | 21