Make this Fruitcake Muffin Recipe to give as a homemade holiday food gift everyone will appreciate.
Combine 3 cups of unsifted all-purpose flour, 1 cup of honey, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup brandy (or water), 1 cup salad oil, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, and 3 eggs in a large mixer bowl. Blend for half a minute on low speed while you occasionally scrape the bowl . . . then beat at high speed for three minutes (while, again, you scrape the bowl occasionally).
Stir in 1 cup of dark seedless raisins, 2 cups of diced dried California apricots, 1 pound (2 cups) of mixed candied fruits, and 2 cups of pecan halves . . . and spoon the batter into three dozen 2-1/2 inch muffin pans (or six-ounce custard cups) lined with paper baking cups. Bake in 275 degree Fahrenheit oven for 65 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of one of the cakes.
Allow the fruitcakes to cool in their pans for five minutes, then remove them to a rack and let them cool thoroughly. Finally, heat 1/3 cup of light corn syrup in a small pan, brush it over the tops of the cakes, and store them — covered with a brandy-soaked cheesecloth — in a cool place in tightly closed containers for up to two weeks. If you intend to keep the cakes longer, freeze them in tightly covered containers.
VARIATIONS: The batter for this recipe may also be baked in small (about 4 inches tall and 2-1/2 inches across) clean food cans. Grease the containers generously, fill 2/3 full with batter, and bake in a 275 degree Fahrenheit oven for I to 1-1/2 hours, or until the fruitcakes test done. If you like, you can also bake this fruitcake batter for 2-1/2 to 3 hours in two 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pans.
Read more about making holiday food gifts and recipes: Homemade Holiday Food Gift Ideas.
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