So I came across the original of this recipe while idly paging through a Real Simple from last year, and was immediately intrigued. After all, I do love fruitcake, and I also am fond of variations on the brownie (which we all know is a bar cookie, right?). In fact, the original version of this recipe closely resembles early brownie recipes from the nineteenth century (see Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cook Book). As a "fruitcake brownie," though, it was distinctly lacking. One cup of cranberries and one cup of nuts? The cranberries are a nice touch, but those proportions hardly make it fruity! Since I already had extra fixings from the Fruitcake Cookies, I decided to experiment a little. I added golden raisins and slightly decimated the amount of cranberries, and I also added the glaceed fruits that are the trademark of the modern American fruitcake. I think if those types of fruit are just too unbearable, one could make a delicious variation on this recipe with just dried fruits: cranberries, raisins, currants, dates, cherries, blueberries, apricots, etc. In fact, I may have to try that next year! I also added a dash of spice because it seemed a little bland, otherwise. The end results were surprisingly delicious and popular--even with a few people who don't care for fruitcake. I think I'll add even more fruit the next time around, a full cup each of cranberries, raisins, and mixed fruits. Note: be sure to use a good dark rum to really enhance the flavor.
2 sticks unsalted butter 1 cp packed dark brown sugar 1/2 cp granulated sugar 2 T dark corn syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 large egg 2-3/4 cps all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1-1/4 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp allspice 3/4 cp dried cranberries 1/2 cp golden raisins 3/4 cp mixed glaceed fruits 1 cp pecans 1 T dark rum
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease or parchment a 9x9 square baking pan.
2. With a mixer, beat the butter, sugars, corn syrup, and vanilla for 3 minutes. Add the egg and rum and beat until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add the dry mix to the egg mixture. Add the fruit and nuts.
4. Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Finish cooling on wire rack. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.