My friend Pat sent me her recipe for Fruit Rocks. It called for all-purpose flour. That was the easy part. It also called for a supermarket’s worth of candied fruit, chopped pecans and dates. The amount seemed like a lot for the quantity of flour.
To my delight, I met Pat and her husband at a cooking class I did in Atlanta in March. She brought me some of her fruit rock cookies made gluten free. They were yummy, but very dense. Chockfull of fruit and nuts, they reminded me of fruitcake. But they were crumbly, too. My baker’s instinct told me, indeed, there was too much fruit.
Upon researching this old fashion cookie, I discovered a number of variations. Some were listed as Russian Rock Cookies. Others were called Christmas Rock Cookies. One called for cocoa, another for lemon juice, a third for raisins.
I kept many parts of Pat’s recipe – - the candied cherries, chopped dates, and pecans. I added cocoa but did not add raisins. Then I created a flour blend – - an enhanced version of my cake and pastry flour from Gluten-Free Makeovers and increased the fat a bit, but not as much as one of the other recipes would have added. It seemed like the cookies should be delicate, but sturdy enough to keep the chopped fruit suspended.
The results were delicious. These are like “loaded” miniature fruitcakes only better. The flavor and texture will keep you coming back for more.
One batch makes enough for all your holiday gifts.
Fruit Rock Cookies (makes about 96 cookies)
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
¾ pound (12 ounces) chopped pecans
1, 4-ounce container red candied cherries, chopped
1, 4-ounce container green candied cherries, chopped
½ pound candied peel and fruit mix
½ pound chopped dates
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy-free alternative, at room temperature
6 tablespoons Earth Balance organic shortening, at room temperature
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Blend flours, cornstarch, xanthan gum, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and spices. Whisk until cocoa is evenly dispersed. Remove ½ cup of flour mixture.
Combine chopped pecans, cherries, peel and fruit mix, and dates. Toss with reserved ½ cup of flour blend. Set aside.
Cream sugar with butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add the remaining flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add water and stir until mixture is smooth.
Fold fruit mixture into batter, mixing thoroughly. Drop by teaspoon onto prepared baking sheet, about one inch apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Do not over-brown.
Store cookies in jars for up to a week or freeze for later use.
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About This BlogBaking guru, Beth Hillson, transforms favorites foods into recipes that are safe for your gluten-free diet..
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