They're more than just a holiday gift; nutritionist Brenda Braaten says fruitcakes are a perfect food for hikers.
"You're close to the same calories per gram in a fruitcake compared to a Snickers bar or a trail bar, but you're miles ahead on iron, magnesium, [and] calcium," she told "Sunday Morning" contributor Nancy Giles. "The mineral content is higher."
And don't forget the brandy!
Brenda Braaten's Fruitcake
8 oz. walnuts (2 cups)
8 oz. pecans (2 cups)
1/2 lb. Brazil nuts (1 ½ cups)
16 oz. pitted dates
15 oz. dried apricots
12 pitted prunes, halved
4 oz. mixed candied fruits (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
16 oz. marachino cherries, drained (1 cup)
1 ½ cup sifted unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup brandy
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Grease bottom and sides of a 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pan. Line with brown paper or grease paper.
Combine ingredients listed through cherries. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and salt over the nuts and fruits. Toss lightly.
Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until fluffy and light. Pour over mixture, stirring gently to combine.
Fill prepared dish, pressing mixture firmly to keep its shape after baking.
Bake for one hour. If fruits are browning too quickly, cover with foil.
Remove cake to wire rack when done. Spoon ¼ cup brandy over. Let stand one hour.
Invert cake; peel off paper, turn right-side up, let stand on wire rack 'til cooled completely. Place rack in shallow pan, and spoon remaining brandy over.
Wrap in cheesecloth (soaked in brandy optional). Wrap or store in airtight container.
Can age for one month for a better taste.
Watch Nancy Giles' story on fruitcakes on "Sunday Morning" December 23!
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