Tuesday, October 18, 2011


1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tbsp orange extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
7 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 1/2 cups chopped candied pineapple
1 tub (8-oz) red candied cherries, chopped
1 tub (8-oz) green candied cherries, chopped
3 cups pecan halves, coarsely chopped and toasted
1 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped and toasted
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 whole-wheat flour
3 tbsp root beer
Additional candied cherries and pecan halves for garnish

Beat the butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add the granulated and dark brown sugars, beating well.  Add the molasses and orange extract, beating well.  Combine the flour, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves together; add to the sugar mixture alternately with the beaten eggs, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat well after each addition.

In a large bowl combine the candied pineapple, chopped red cherries, chopped green cherries, pecans, walnuts, golden raisins, and raisins.  Sprinkle the fruits and nuts with the whole-wheat flour, stirring to coat nuts and fruits well.  Stir fruits and nuts into the batter.

Spoon the batter, evenly divided, into 3 heavily greased and floured 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans.  Arrange additional candied cherries and pecan halves on the tops in your choice of design.

Bake cakes at 250 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Brush each loaf with a tablespoon of the root bear.  Allow to cool completely on wire racks.

If desired, wrap loaves in root beer soaked cheesecloth and store in an airtight container for 3 weeks in a cool place.  Pour a small amount of root beer over the loaves each week, if desired.

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