12/10/2010 10:24 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How to Make Sober Fruitcake Muffins

Look, I know right away this blog post will be controversial. First, who really likes fruitcake? It's a joke, right? But someone must keep eating it, because you can still buy it. Well, I like it, and for a very specific reason. So here is my fruitcake story:

Once, long ago, someone I loved dearly did something really horrible to me. And when he came to ask forgiveness, he brought some fruitcake he had made himself (don't laugh! I know it sounds cruel, but it has a happy ending!). I had never really tried fruitcake before, and when I tried it, not only did I love it, but I could also taste his sorrow and regret. It was sweet and spicy and fruity and rich. So now, whenever I taste fruitcake, I taste forgiveness.

But I don't drink anymore, remember? And most fruitcakes and recipes are soaked in some kind of liquor. So I invented this recipe, and I must say, even people who don't care for fruitcake like this. I make it in a mini-muffin tin, so it's not a 10-pound loaf that feels intimidating. You can just pop one of these in your mouth and get a burst of flavor... and a taste of forgiveness.

Sober Fruitcake

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2 cups candied cherries
  • 2 cups candied pineapple
  • 2 cups candied citrus peel
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped up
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 handful golden raisins
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  1. Use some of the butter to grease a mini-muffin pan.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Toss fruits and nuts together in a bowl.
  4. Mix softened (but not melted) butter and sugar together. Add eggs, lemon extract, and salt and mix some more.
  5. Add the flour and mix some more.
  6. Now add the fruit and nuts to the other stuff and mix everything together.
  7. Fill the muffin tins and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

Note: This can be baked in a traditional loaf too!

They say that reformed rakes make the best husbands. Well, a reformed fruitcake makes the best holiday dessert. And my old friend who brought me my first taste? I forgave him... but I'm still waiting for him to send me his recipe!

Related Links:
How to Make Italian Sausage - Maria's Farm Country Kitchen
Season's Sweetenings: How to Avoid a Holiday Sugar Overdose -
Homemade Gift Ideas - Mother Nature Network

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