My sister-in-law, Johnnie Trower, makes this favorite cookie from a recipe that is credited to a home economics teacher. The recipe makes a lot, so you can halve it if you wish. The cookies improve with age, and they freeze well.
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound pitted dates, cut up
- 2 cups candied red and green cherries, cut into sixths
- 4 slices red and green candied pineapple, cut up
- 1 cup white (golden) raisins
- 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, plus some for tops of cookies
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 pound box light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Sift flour, soda and salt into a bowl. Add fruit and nuts to the mixture, and toss them lightly to dredge them.
- In a large bowl using a stand or hand mixer, mix the melted butter, brown sugar and eggs until well-blended. Stir in buttermilk. Add flour, fruit and nuts mixture, blending well. Refrigerate overnight in an airtight container.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Decorate the top of each cookie with a pecan half. Bake 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks. When cool, store in closed containers. Cookies improve with age.