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Holiday Fruit Drops

Holiday Fruit Drops

Holiday Fruit Drops

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Holiday Fruit Drops
4.8 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.8/5 (14)
Course: Drop CookiesDifficulty: Easy



A fruitcake drop cookie with nuts, candied cherries and dates. This is a vintage recipe from the 1940s.


  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening, or 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter (see note*)

  • 2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped

  • 2 cups red and green candied cherries, halved

  • 2 cups dates, chopped

  • pecan halves, for garnish (not pictured)


  • Beat together shortening, sugar and eggs until creamy. Stir in buttermilk. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt, then stir into the butter mixture. Stir in the pecans, cherries and dates. Chill at least 1 hour. Pre-heat oven to 400 F and lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough about 2″ apart on prepared baking sheet. Place a pecan half on each cookie if desired (not pictured). 10 minutes or until not quite firm when lightly touched.


  • Adapted from a recipe in the 1963 book Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, where it is listed as “The Best Cooky of 1945-1950”.
  • * This is a very old recipe and like many old recipes, especially those from war-time eras, it calls for shortening rather than butter. If you wish to use butter, The Spruce Eats has an excellent article on substituting shortening for butter and vice-versa. It’s important to note that their conversions are BY WEIGHT and not by volume, so you will need a kitchen scale for the best accuracy. In this case, their recommendation is that for 1 cup of shortening (7.2 ounces or 205 grams), instead use 9 ounces (255g) of butter; about 1-1/8 cups or 1 cup + 2 tablespoons.

    Do note that with butter, you’ll get a flatter cookie with crispier edges. With shortening, you’ll get a rounder cookie with a more soft texture. You decide!


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

I found them very good and it is a good short cut if you do not have the time to make fruit cake. I have some in the freezer right now and I hope they are freezer friendly.
- A Baker

This recipe is good. You can make variations of this recipe. I used it for spiced gum drop cookies that my Father just loves to get at Christmas time.
- Julie Ford?in Memphis, TN

I have been making this recipe since 1970 (my mother made this when I was a child). It is my favorite cookie recipe because it is easy, it makes 8 doz. at one time, and it is reminiscent of traditional fruitcake. It's great for gifts.
- C. Stunkel in Boyds, MD

This recipe is so easy made. Is delicious and Makes a beautiful tray for holiday goodies
- Lois Martin?in Catawba,S.C.

I have used red and green candied cherries and candied pinapple also. Very well received at parties and easy to make.
- D. Hutchison?in Houston, TX

This is my second year making these. They are SO good. My 15 year old son begs for them to be made!
- Julia in Halifax, NS

My family has made these cookies for over 35 years. Lately I have replaced some of the dates with raisins and dried cranberries. I have also added ine small container of candied orange peel. This actually makes the cookie even more moist.
- wicwind in West Virginia

I had this recipe 50 years ago...made them every Christmas until I was 30 & lost the recipe when I moved. Am overjoyed to find it again..they are yummy...something about the combination of buttermilk & brown sugar I think, plus the cherries & pecans YUM THANKS FOR FINDING IT FOR ME AGAIN!!
- Jackie in Va. Beach VA

was looking for something different for xmas. Well its easy and oh so yummy. right out of the oven couldn t wait to taste them. great recipe
- A Baker

Love these cookies but even better made with candy fruit slices (cherry & orange - use your kitchen shears to cut them up). Made either way, they are delicious & addicting!
- Sheree in Illinois

I have made these cookies for at least 50 years,,,not kidding. They are so good and easy. I hope you try them.
- diane?in fl?

My family would be so disappointed if i didnt make these!! Been making them for 50 years~ in our family, they are delicious and improve with storage
- katherine in springfield,MO

This holiday cookies are the easiest and most delicious I make at Christmas . I've been them making since I started to bake (about 50 years ago) I've always used this particular recipe, which I got from an old Betty Crocker book. So glad to read how many others like It as well
- A Baker

Double the pecans, replace the dates with more cherries. Have made these cookies every year since 1978. The one cookie my family always asks for!
- Carolyn in Georgia
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