These fruitcake-inspired bar cookies are loaded with spice and boozy soaked dried fruit. Sweet and chewy, rich and dark with molasses, the bars are finished with a thick confectioners’ sugar glaze and topped with a glacé cherry that's reminiscent of so many festive holiday cakes.
Combine the currants, figs, cherries, pineapple, orange peel and 1/2 cup brandy in a wide microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the mixture is hot, about 90 seconds, then stir to evenly coat the fruit with the brandy. Set aside at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides; coat the foil with cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Whisk the melted butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth; add the eggs and whisk until combined, then whisk in the molasses and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture until smooth, then fold in the macerated fruit and any remaining liquid in the bowl (no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons liquid).
Spread the batter in the baking dish in an even layer. Bake until browned, puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the baking dish to a rack to cool completely.
Lift the bars out of the pan using the foil overhang and transfer to a cutting board. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk and remaining 1 tablespoon brandy in a medium bowl to make a thick, spreadable glaze; whisk in a few more drops of milk or brandy if needed. Spread the glaze on the bars; let set, 20 to 30 minutes.
Trim the edges of the bars. Cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch squares. Gently press a candied cherry into the center of each.
Tools You May Need
Photograph by Kate Sears
Tools You May Need
Price and stock may change after publish date, and we may make money off