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Originally published Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 12:00 AM

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Recipe: Fruitcake Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen small cookies

- ½ pound dried figs

- ¼ pound raisins

- ¼ pound candied cherries, coarsely chopped

- 1 tablespoon honey

- 2 tablespoons dry sherry

- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

- 6 ounces chopped walnuts

- 1/8 teaspoon plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

- ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

- ½ teaspoon ground cloves

- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

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- ½ cup superfine sugar

- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

- 1 large egg

- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

- Baker's parchment paper

1. Snip off hard stems of figs with a scissor or small knife and coarsely chop figs. In a medium bowl, combine figs, raisins, cherries, honey, sherry, lemon juice, walnuts and 1/8 salt. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight at room temperature.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, cloves, cinnamon, superfine sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add egg and mix until incorporated. With mixer still on low, slowly add flour and ¼ teaspoon salt; mix just until combined. Don't overmix. Add fruits and nuts, and mix in.

3. Divide dough in half and place each half on the long edge of a 12-by-18-inch piece of parchment or wax paper. Roll each half into a log about 18 inches long and 1-¾ inches thick. Refrigerate dough for several hours or until firm.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove wrap; with a small, sharp knife, cut logs into about ½-inch-thick slices. Place about ½ inch apart on prepared baking sheets and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on racks. (These cookies freeze well.)

From "Barefoot Contessa at Home" by Ina Garten

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