Fruitcake Smackdown: Marzipan-Covered Bar Form! Plus cakepops.

Fruitcake bars with marzipan frosting!

Fruitcake bars with marzipan frosting!

The DH is still overseas, so I am continuing to sublimate my worry by baking. Baking, the panacea for all worries, since…forever? I can totally see a cavewoman doing this, far back into the reaches of time. Silly caveman out on a hunt for a wooly mammoth? Sublimate worries by collecting berries and grains and baking over a fire. Only I’ve taken it a step further and turned the berries and grains into marzipan-covered fruitcake. What can I say, I have a fanciful mind!

And speaking of fancy, I decided to take this fruitcake up a notch by adding topping it in marzipan. Have I ever tried this before? No. Do I like it when it’s done in stores? No. Do I think it looks pretty? Yes. Well then! Top it in marzipan, I shall! With marzipan leftovers from my Boeterkoekjes recipe.

Want some pretty marzipan-topped fruitcake bars for yourself? Let’s bake it up!

Full o' nuts! And fruit. Lots of boozy fruit.

Full o’ nuts! And fruit. Lots of boozy fruit.

Marzipan-Topped Fruitcake Bars

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tbsp. candied citrus fruit
  • 1/2 c. red and green cherries, each (1 c. total)
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. rum
  • 1 can pineapple slices, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 1/4 c. pecans
  • 1/4 c.  and 1/8 c. butter (anyone know the total of these two?)
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 pkg. marzipan
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda [post-baking editor addition — read more below]

Mix fruit together and soak in rum. Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in egg. Mix 1/2 c. flour with spices. Add to egg/butter/sugar mixture and mix until just blended. Stir remaining flour with fruit/rum mixture and add in nuts, stirring again. Stir in fruit/nut mixture into dough mixture. Spread into parchment paper lined 9 x 9 inch pan. Bake in 325 degree oven for 1 hr. or until knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool on cooling rack. Roll out marzipan on wax paper. When cake is cool, place rolled marzipan on top of bars, and press to attach. Slice into bars and eat with gusto!

This recipe is very much a trial one. I didn’t have any homemade candied pineapple left from yesterday’s smackdown recipe, Rummy Fruitcake, I hadn’t had a chance to go to the store to buy some, and I didn’t feel like making a new batch of candied pineapple, so…I just dumped in a can of pineapple slices, cut into chunks. I also didn’t add a rising agent, but a number of recipes on the web don’t use one either so I thought I’d try it out myself! I’ve peeked in the oven as it’s baking and it doesn’t seem to be rising (duh!) so perhaps I might suggest adding a 1/2 tsp. of baking soda to your recipe.

But what’s the worst thing that can happen? If the cake doesn’t turn out, I’ll turn it into fruitcake cake pops! With white chocolate frosting! Reframing outcomes — I can do it in the kitchen!  (I never thought my psych degree(s) would come in useful this way.)

Fruitcake! In cake pop form.

Fruitcake! In cake pop form.

Edit: I turned the leftover cake into Fruitcake CakePops. Very easy! Take the fruitcake and break it into little pieces. Mush it all up with your fingers. (The juices from the pineapple will hold it together.) Freeze in small balls on a baking tray. Take out and stick lollipop sticks into them when slightly defrosted. Freeze again. Melt chocolate in a mug (see here for directions) and dip the frozen fruitcake pop into the melted chocolate. The cold from the frozen pop will harden the chocolate right away. You can drizzle other chocolate colours on it. I only kind of drizzled, because I…ate most of the chocolate, so there wasn’t much left to drizzle. *grin* Oh well. I served them for a New Year’s Day lunch, and my family really liked them! They taste exactly like fruitcake, but in cake pop form, with a nice crunch and sweetness from the white chocolate coating. Yay! I managed to turn a kitchen fail into a win!

And, the Smackdown Verdict? The traditional loaf is a winner! The squares and cake pops are cute and all, but the loaf just tastes better. Probably because it rose. And therefore tasted lighter. What’s your favourite fruitcake recipe? Let me know in the comments!

Next Post: It’s a Bake-a-Long post! Gingerbread Buche de Noel? Or Cranberry Crunch Tart? The ingredients for both are in my fridge. Can’t decide which one to make though. Any preferences?

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