is the end of the world, the beginning of the last weekend before Christmas...let's make more fruitcake everyone!

I felt like Brandy was too strong for the fruitcake I made last month, so I used Cointreau this time. If you're an alcohol free person, use apple juice, pear juice or orange juice instead.

For this fruitcake, I put quite a bit of time and effort into this endeavor and had to start early a month ago, so it'll be ready for Christmas. I made 2 loaves, one already sent to my husband's family. Another one is sitting in my pantry, waiting for me to give it one more brushing. :)

makes 2 loaves
adapted from chow.com

- 2 cups dried apricots, chopped
- 2 cups raisins and currents
- 1 cup dates and figs, chopped
- 1 cup candied orange, lemon and cherry
- 3 tbsp. lemon zest
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup Cointreau


- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
- 2 cups almond, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup apricot jam


1. Do ahead: combine all the fruits, zest, orange juice and Cointreau in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Coat two loaf pans with butter and flour.
3. Sift all dry ingredients together, set aside.
4. Cream the butter with sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy.
5. Add eggs, one at a time. Then add molasses and beat until combined.
6. Using low speed, add dry ingredients, then fruit, nut and jam. Mix until just combined.
7. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.
8. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, lower the heat to 285 degrees and bake for 90 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Let cook in pan for 30 minutes. Turn cakes out onto the rack and brush the top with Cointreau. Let cool completely before aging.
10. To age; soak the cheesecloth in Cointreau. Wrap each cake with cheesecloth, then brush them with more Cointreau. Wrap in foil, then plastic wrap again. Once a week, brush each cake with 1/4 Cointreau and wrap it with foil and plastic. Do this brushing for 4 weeks.

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