Christmas Fruitcake Hermits

Makes 84 cookies

1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup (125 mL) shortening

1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon rum extract

2-1/2cups cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (250 mL) red and or green cherries or green candied cherries, quartered

1 cup (250 mL) raisins

1  cup (250 mL) candied citrus peel

3/4 cup (175 mL) coarsely chopped pecans

about 3 cups (750ml) pecan halves, optional

Rum Glaze (optional):

1 1/3 cups (325 mL) icing sugar

3 tablespoon amber rum

In large bowl, beat together butter, shortening and brown sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in rum extract.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture in 3 additions. Stir in cherries, raisins, citrus peel and chopped pecans.

Drop by 1 tablespoon, 2 inches (5 cm) apart, onto parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Press pecan half (if using) onto each. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until bottoms are golden brown but centres are still soft, about 14 minutes. Transfer to racks; let cool completely.

Rum Glaze: In bowl, stir icing sugar with rum until smooth; drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon over each cooled cookie. Let dry until set, about 10 minutes.

The Culinary Chase's Note:
Fruit cake is something I've made for Christmas but this year I didn't so these little gems are a lovely substitute!