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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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Debrajn1355677816.394 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.

RachelV851355679449.213 PostsRegistered 7/22/2012
We baked home made cookies to give as gifts for the holiday!

patty65161355679855.4571 PostsRegistered 9/2/2012

making tons of cookies and candy for gifts this year. just hope i have enough time to get it all done. i am using my new kitchen island from QVC i got this year and it is just great

DebRD1355679925.8472 PostsRegistered 12/18/2011
Cheesecake! I make both sweet and savory varieties! One will serve 16 normal people or 8 with David's appetite! You name the flavor, I'll give it a try!

grammylori1355679976.2731 PostsRegistered 12/16/2012

Hi David

I make home made almond roca and tons of cookies to give away. Baking is my favorite part of the holidays. I am going to try your Fruit Cake recipe. Sounds wonderful.

NYkr1355683934.5973 PostsRegistered 1/10/2012

I am making "Chubby Tates" Chocolate Chip Cookies from Tates Baking for Friends cookbook! I am taking them to my son and his wife in Baltimore, Maryland. Thank you David and friends for all these great cookbooks!!! Happy Holidays!!!

Xquizit1355684023.9771 PostsRegistered 12/16/2012

Hi David:

I make rum cakes and Christmas cookies for gifts! Haven't heard one complaint!

HotFlash611355685314.24369 PostsRegistered 6/11/2007Whiting, NJ

No not giving any foods for Christmas Gifts, except for my Husband and I we bought the two apple and nut breads. Also, just wanted to express our deepest sympathy for the Victims of this Horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook School, God Bless all the children and teachers.

Sherrae1355685348.7372 PostsRegistered 12/16/2012
I always try to make something a little different to give my neighbors and fellow teachers. Last year it was cheesecakes. This year it is a tray with hot butter rum batter (made with ice cream), truffles, cookies and pumpkin bread.

greeneydgi­rl1355687492.352 PostsRegistered 12/16/2012
Which cookbook is Bob Wardens Pizza Chicken recipe in? They said the book sold out. I missed it :(

blackhorse­ lady1355691964.7733 PostsRegistered 8/1/2010

We are sort of giving the gift of food this year. But not to family members. We decided that since we are all grown adults who are blessed to be able to buy what we want when we want, that we decided to this year donate alot of cans of dog food and cat food (and a few other supplies) to our local animal shelter. We adopted an old dog in June and are so happy with him that it is right to give back in this way.
Many of these animals did not ask to be there and our shelter is a no kill shelter and is super clean and staff are the best so why not help them if we can.

Barbara Moreno

Tomah, Wisconsin

Zenya1355694615.534 PostsRegistered 3/7/2010

Hi David,

I always bake for Christmas presents however, this year I bought gourmet treats to give out to my friends and Mechanics due to the lack of time for baking..

Thanks for all your efforts and the hours of programming which inform and entertain us all.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years

Geniebeanie1355771630.75303 PostsRegistered 5/11/2010
No not this year,but I will be making a meatball sub dinner for Christmas Eve. My family starts asking if I am making them in September. Tomorrow I will get my baking items rounded up to make my cookies and brownies. Do not want to make them too early because they mysteriously disappear lol and I have to bake more.

Taffu1356411624.91 PostsRegistered 12/24/2012Colorado Springs

I am not giving food for gifts but my husband and I are taking two smoked turkeys (he loves the new smoker I got him for his birthday in November), two pans of dressing, gravy and my famous cheese ball to our Mission Church for the people who live there.

My blog name isn't Taffu but is Taffy

SuCQ1358701837.1924 PostsRegistered 6/27/2010

I love watching ITKWD on Sundays..however, have you ever considered (maybe once a month) airing it on Sunday evening? Maybe from 4-7pm? I would like to see it during dinner hour once in awhile. I also love Blue-Jean Chef...maybe she could be on show with David doing some of his recipes from his cookbook? Love David~even my husband watches some and loves it!

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