Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fruit Cake or Nut Roll?.... that is the question

A few days ago I watched as one of the stars of Food Network stated his case for fruitcake at Christmas. I have to admit that after seeing the ingredients used in the recipe from this nationally known fruitcake company I was almost convinced. The fact that the main ingredient was pecans made me sit up and take notice. It did seem to be a very moist variety with a real yummy looking texture when he sliced into the sample on screen. I've heard all the jokes about fruitcake and even was the recipient of one or two over the years as a gift. At my house, however, my mother made her specialty which has become one of my favorites. If you don't mind getting your hands messy, then take a look at the recipe below which has obviously fewer ingredients and time invested than the traditional fruitcake. Fruitcake has never been a tradition in our family but comparing notes at a Cookie Swap one Christmas I found nut rolls have been a tradition in other families like mine. If I were to add anything to this recipe it would be twice as many cherries. They are absolutely my favorite thing.. could eat them out of a jar. You can tweak this recipe to your liking. Don't panic when it gets good and gooey. The crumb coating will help keep it shape!

1 Box of graham crackers (save one pack)
1 can evaporated mil, (my mom ALWAYS  used Pet)
1 Big jar of maraschino cherries
2 cups of pecans
3-4 cups of mini marshmallows
3/4 box of raisins
Crush the packages of graham crackers into crumbs using a rolling pin
(for years I've been planning to measure so I can use the boxed crumbs all ready to go)
Mix all the ingredients with your hands adding the milk gradually
Shape into a log and roll in the last package of graham crumbs
If you've always had fruit cake, I invite you to try this favorite of our family. Not too sweet but just the perfect after dinner treat with a hot cup of coffee or tea at the holidays.

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