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Sometimes recipe development just sort of…happens. I was in the kitchen four different times between November and January trying to perfect my recipe offering for February (yes, we start working on ideas that far in advance), but it just was not working. I was getting so frustrated trying and I was about to concede another defeat when I opened my pantry and looked at several jars of leftover dried fruit. I thought to myself, “This has nothing to do with my current recipe attempt, but how in the world am I going to use up all that dried fruit?”
Suddenly it hit me that all the fruits staring at me were common additions to fruit cake, the loved holiday tradition. I quickly scanned an old recipe book to explore the flavors that normally go into a fruit cake and the a-ha moment was complete. Fruit Cake Bites (no holiday required to enjoy them) were born and I had the lucky experience of a recipe just…happening!
Fruit Cake Bites
- Zest of 1 small orange
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup dried cherries, pitted
- ¼ cup dried apricots, pitted
- ¼ cup dried prunes, pitted
- ¼ cup dried dates, pitted
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon orange juice, if needed
- Combine the orange zest, coconut flakes, and sea salt in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Combine the remaining ingredients, minus the orange juice, in a food processor, and pulse to process until a “ball” forms. If the mixture is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of orange juice and process again until a “ball” forms.
- Roll the mixture into approximately 8 small balls, and then roll through the orange zest mixture to coat. Place on a parchment paper–lined plate, and transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes to harden.
- Transfer to an airtight container for storage in the refrigerator. Keeps for a couple weeks; also freezes well.