Friends & Fruitcake

An overdue blurb from the holiday season. After split city living for the month of December it feels particularly peaceful to be back in my Toronto home. Waking up to kitten kisses, snowy rooftop views and empty glasses of sparkling wine feel like motivation enough to take on the new year. Another year rich with travel, cheese, community connections, meaningful work, adventure, love, heartache and healing. 2017 May have ended on a heavy note but I remain grateful and optimistic for a fruitful 365 to follow.

On an even sweeter note here’s a recap of my holiday baking list: Apricot fruitcake and shredded coconut cookies. Both delightfully sharable Scrooge-approved treats.

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Apricot Fruitcake

Prep Time2 hrs | Cook Time1 hr | Total Time3 hrs
“This moist, spice-less fruitcake is one of our family favorites. It is not nearly as heavily flavored as dark fruitcake. Since no spices or molasses are used this cake relies purely on the flavor of the dried fruits” (RockRecipies, 2015). Little taste o’Newfoundland.
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups light raisins or sultana raisins
  • 2 cup dried apricots chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose (gluten free) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pound glace cherries, chopped
  • 1 pound mixed dried fruit
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the water, apricots, 1/4 cup sugar and raisins and simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
  2. Cream the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  5. Fold half of the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.
  6. Fold in the cooled boiled apricot mixture.
  7. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients.
  8. Fold in the cherries and dried fruit.
  9. Bake in a greased and floured tube pan or 2 greased and parchment lined small loaf pans at 325 degrees F for about an hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. A tube pan will probably take over an hour depending on size. My small aluminum loaf pans took about 55 minutes. The toothpick test is the most reliable way to test if the cake is baked.
  11. Cool in the pan/s for a 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Store in a cake tin or other airtight container. Freezes well too.

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Two Ingredient Banana Coconut Cookies

PrepTime: 5 mins | Cook Time 25 mins | Yields: 5 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a cookie sheet, set aside.
  2. Pulse the two ingredients for a few moments in a food processor until very well combined.
  3. Shape into discs, then set on the greased cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden.

Share and take care, folks. And remember to continue sprinkling compassion to taste as 2017 comes to a close and we welcome the new year.

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