Holiday Fruit Drops

1 cup shortening
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup soured milk, buttermilk, or water
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups broken pecans
2 cups candied cherries, halved
2 cups chopped dates

Mix shortening, sugar and eggs well. Stir in soured milk. Blend dry ingredients, stir in to wet mixture. Stir in the pecans, cherries and dates. Chill at least 1 hour. Heat oven to 400 F. Drop heaping teaspoons of dough about 2" apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Place a pecan half on each cookie if desired. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until almost no imprint remains when touched lightly.

Note: If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda and salt.

Servings: 96

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