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Are You Giving Any Gifts of Food This Holiday Season?

Posted by David Venable 1355515916.713
Hello, foodies…
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas…everywhere you go! The biggest holiday of the year (at least in my book!) is just 10 days away. I've got some shopping to do! And I'm gonna need to bake some more cookies for Santa. Mine seem to have disappeared. MARY!? Hmm…Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons or Chocolate Hug Cookies. That's a toughie!
And while I'm baking, I think I'll whip up Sunday's recipe. A truly delicious fruitcake!
Not-Your-Grandma's Fruitcake
Not-Your-Grandma's Fruitcake
This recipe is prepared with the KitchenAid Professional 9-Speed Digital Hand Mixer with Bag & Attachments (K34571).
Go to David's Recipe Item Page for the full list of items that David has used in his recipes.
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick margarine, softened
1/4 stick shortening
1-1/3 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
2 cups chopped, mixed, dried, and candied fruit that has been macerated and soaked in rum for least 2 weeks
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Set aside.
Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the margarine, shortening, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the half and half, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just incorporated.
Strain the macerated fruit and fold it into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 75–85 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before serving.
Now, rest assured…this is not your grandma's hand-me-down mystery cake or anything like those fruitcakes that make better doorstops than holiday dessert. The base of this recipe is a decadent pound cake with a hint of lemon. You'll love the addition of the rum-soaked fruit (which you needn't soak for two entire weeks if you don't have the time) and, if you like, add your favorite nuts. Almonds, pecans, or walnuts would work beautifully in this recipe. Fold them in when you add the fruit. As I said above, soaking the fruit for two weeks will impart a rich, deep, rum flavor. You just won't have that same intensity with a shorter soaking time. And, you may actually prefer a milder cake, which is fine. Remember, my recipes are your recipes. Make them your own!
Here's a fruitcake- and bread-baking tip from our friend Cheryl Day from Back in the Day Bakery. Thanks to all of you who sent us your baking questions!
Q: When I make breads, like banana bread, cranberry bread, etc.,they always turn sticky on the top. Even though they're not sticky & are brown when they come out of the oven. It doesn’t seem to matter if I store the bread loosely covered, or in an airtight container, or wrap in foil. Why?
A: It sounds like you're baking your recipes correctly. I would continue to follow the baking times for each recipe and cool completely before placing the bread in a container. There's nothing wrong with a moist, sticky-topped quick bread. Quick breads have ingredients that add moistness (i.e., banana, lemon, cranberry, pumpkin, etc.) and those ingredients make quick bread what it is. You might try storing your bread in a container instead of wrapping it. Another solution would be to add a crumble to the top of your bread. Think a brown sugar-walnut blend on banana bread. It's fun to experiment with different crumbles when making quick breads and it helps to create a nice crunchy, chewy top.
There's a lot to be said for a good fruitcake. But there's also something to be said for a decadent chocolate cake!
Baked Fudge Pudding Cake
Baked Fudge Pudding Cake
You can find that cake in one of Sunday's "Cookbook Corner" selections…Crock Pot Recipe Collection (F09853). The other selection…Kraft Recipe Collection is available under the same item number and you choose which book you'd like. Kraft brings you 362 easy-to-follow recipes in a hardcover binder and Crock Pot contains 512 recipes solely for that underutilized kitchen appliance. It, too, comes in that same stays-open binder.
We have a big 4-hour show this Sunday to help you wrap up your gift list. And, I'm thrilled to tell you we have our In the Kitchen with David aprons available again this Sunday. Until then, chew on this blog question, foodies…are you giving any gifts of food this holiday season? If so, what? My Fudgy Brownie Gift Mix? A quick bread? Maybe my fruitcake? Tell me all about it. (Maybe that way I won't forget anyone!) See you Sunday at Noon ET.
Keep it flavorful!

Blog Author Posts
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speedyindi­sguise1355547821.497826 PostsRegistered 2/25/2009

Why oh why do I have to bake those delicious looking macaroons myself? DH LOVES macaroons. I was hoping I could just order them from the Q. LOL.

P.S. Yes, love to send gifts of food!

Still the same SpeedyG

BrandyC1355576557.36247 PostsRegistered 9/20/2009

Hi David,

I always bake and give goodies away at holiday time. I give my mail lady something because as members of the US Postal Service they are not allowed to take money; so a baked goodie and a card is great and she and her husband enjoy it together. Also, I bake pistachio biscotti and other types of cookies and scones to send to my son and grandchildren in NY. When you give a home-baked gift, people know it is made with love.

See you Sunday......{#emotions_dlg.wub}

topaunt1355586655.187225 PostsRegistered 1/1/2010

Hi David!

I like to give my homemade chocolate walnut fudge, chex mix and muddy buddies as Christmas gifts. Along with plates of my Christmas cookies to my friends, family and coworkers. Homemade gifts show you really care! Keep up the good work!


goocharoo1355597350.907543 PostsRegistered 8/13/2006illinois

Ho Ho Ho, Mr.V! Ed & I make sugar free gifts. Today I made my fruit & nut cake. Going to add the booze sauce shortly. Ed takes our cookies to work & no one knows the diff! See you tomorrow!

camelheigh­ts1355601499.7072 PostsRegistered 6/10/2012

Hi David, watch you every Sunday and Wednesday. My kitchen is mostly a QVC kitchen since you've got such great gadgets!!! that help and save time.

I just finished makeing the 4th batch of my great grand mothers recipe of fruit cake. it is to die for!!! i've mailed and given away most of the batches of fruitcake. i don't like the rum in yours so i'll pass on that one.


catch you tomorrow!

Ricecake1355604767.67380 PostsRegistered 7/29/2012
We will be making holiday bread in my cooks essential bread maker will serve on Christmas day for the family and any guests who may show up

B-Jay1355616286.37105 PostsRegistered 6/20/2010

Hi David, why yes I am baking croissants and putting them in temptations to give to very speacial family members!!! The croissants are from QVC as well as the temptations! Also giving Harry London chocolates! It is so easy to truly use QVC for food gifts! Love,B

Pam from S­tanwood1355621118.623233 PostsRegistered 6/27/2010

I have to make my sticky buns for the kids and grandkids and Meridith's peppermint bark. I will also have to make some pear almond turnovers for some very special neighbors!

pagel1355622219.932 PostsRegistered 12/17/2010

Is it necessary to soak the candied fruit? I dont care for rum. I have purchased a large container of the candied fruit last week but it is already soft and diced. So the process by soaking the fruit in rum for two weeks is this ony to give the fruitcake the rum flavor? I will be making this fruitcake as i love all fruitcakes but i dont believe that i will soak my fruit but i will be adding walnuts and pecans.

Brenda Pagel, Keithville La.

Ronstance1355635167.96756 PostsRegistered 3/23/2011

ABSOLUTELY because of QVC I am again gifting food this holiday season. This year, I'm gifting Tate's chocolate chip cookies, Cheryls cookies (those ornaments are not only beautiful, but reuseable), and Harry London chocolates. I may add a Juniors cheese cake or two. That was my main food gift last year.

TRUBLU1355636202.25713 PostsRegistered 2/16/2011

Hi David{#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

I got my primary doctor an order of Harry London(5) 1 lb assorted tins of cookies. She

loves chocolate! I also want you to know that I got your book{#emotions_dlg.thumbup},LOVE IT! Happy Holidays David!

Lois May1355657594.46157 PostsRegistered 2/13/2012

Hi David, I baked banana bread that my son took to work. It was good apparently they ate it all before noon and said it was delicious. Lois May.

Susiegirl21355660264.207263 PostsRegistered 10/29/2010

Nothing homemade but we did send packages with candy, nuts and other goodies to a couple of people. We'll give our paper man and mail man candy as well as friends.

chiefcooker1355660654.031 PostsRegistered 6/29/2011

My hubby and I made 200 Buckeyes to give out! They are SOOO good...

RitaFz1355661652.9319 PostsRegistered 11/7/2010

It's not exactly food but, over the summer we met a wonderful lady named Kimarie at our local farmer's market. She has a company called Saltopia. She makes the most wonderful finishing salts in many differnt flavors. So I have bought a few of her salt sample gift sets for some friends and one for my favotrite sushi chef.

dmr461355663730.3533 PostsRegistered 11/6/2010

I always do a lot of baking at Christmas. I made 4 batches of cookies yesterday. I give them to co-workers and to the mailman and paper carrier. Love to bake and love to give my products away! Merry Christmas

bobow1355664622.2210 PostsRegistered 7/17/2010

{#emotions_dlg.biggrin}GOOD MORNING TO ALL---Hey David--I have lived in Fl for the last 5 years so--for that long of a time i have been baking pumpkin bread,peanut butter squares but most wanted is DIVINITY that has long been passed form grandmother,mother and my job the last 20 years-so yes for 2 weeks is kitchen week and then to package to send up north--but I LOVE IT-i feel closer to home for the holidays!!!!!{#emotions_dlg.wub}

Debba761355667888.514 PostsRegistered 9/29/2010

I recently purchased the 5 pack Harry London Tsv and mixed the flavors all together and plan on giving one to to mailman, garbage man, recycle man, paper lady and the bus driver.

Tweetee1355668135.6373 PostsRegistered 5/10/2012

I am making my grandmothers biscotti recipe along with chocolate ravioli's to give as gifts this year. These recipes came over from Italy and whenever I make them...it brings me back to when I was a little girl visiting grandma at Christmas time. Thanks for the wonderful memories grandma!

sundawg1355670324.233179 PostsRegistered 6/13/2010

Hi, David! Love your picture with the turkey! When do we eat? {#emotions_dlg.biggrin} I've been baking cookies as usual, and this year, I tried making cake pops to give. I got the Cooks' Essentials cake pop maker, so it was easy to make the cake pops. The icing was a differnt story. I melted the Wiltons candy pieces and it came out okay. I just covered the top of the cake pop, as it was pretty sweet (and trust me, I can do sweet! Figured if it was too sweet for me, way too sweet for anyone else), and after it hardened, I put them into little foil cupcake papers and stuck them in a decorative box. Turned out okay for my first try. Tell Bob thanks for the CE cake pop maker! I love making sweets to give away! May not get to watch the whole show today; I"m hosting a luncheon for my best friends. Enchilada casserole, salad and chocolate cake with peppermint icing for dessert! Karen in Florida

blueeyedit­alian1355670642.016 PostsRegistered 10/17/2010

Yes, I will be making Mini Panettones to give to my sisters as an "extra" goodie this year. (It's the first time I'll be making them so cross your fingers they turn out.) :)

I'll be baking them in Temptations Mini Round Casserole dishes and then wrapping them in clear cellophane with a festive bow.

Merry Christmas !


AbbeyG1355670774.815 PostsRegistered 7/18/2010
I will be giving my homemade cookies and fudge along with Cheryl's cookies, Harry London candies and Junior's cheesecake.

phillymama1355672168.7436 PostsRegistered 7/25/2010

Yes, I'm giving Juniors Cheese Cake, Mrs. Prendables Apples but I will be making Kansas City Steaks, Twice Baked Potatoes for one of my dinners. Company coming from up North.

We love you David, keep up the great work. I've watched you on Racheal Ray's show and Anderson Cooper Live. You're the best.


LILLY1355676774.1975 PostsRegistered 8/4/2007
Yes have sent Georgetown cupcakes,juniors whoppie pie,Cheryl's cookies to my family in Colorado.was a big hit with twin grandchildren

Debrajn1355677815.5334 PostsRegistered 12/16/2012

Hi David. I'm watching now. I am giving gifts of food but I don't bake them. Every year I do a mason jar with a different cookie mix in it for family to make when they want. I figure they already have loads of baked goods to eat. This year I also made Paula Deen's mix for Boursin to go along with the cookie mix. I added a pyrex spatchula. I enjoy looking for a new recipe every year. I start looking during your Christmas in July day.

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