These miniature dried fruit cakes are sweet and nutty with hints of licorice and booze. While the flavors of the figs and apricots are clearly present, it's the tart cranberries that really come through. The little red flecks look really pretty and festive as well!
- Yield:Makes 10 cakes
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:2 days, 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup almonds, plus 10 whole almonds
- 1 cup packed chopped dried figs
- 2/3 cup packed chopped dried apricots
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed with the back of a knife
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons brandy (or more if your fruit is very dry)
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about five to ten minutes.
Reserve 10 almonds. Transfer remaining almonds to a food processor and process until finely ground. Transfer ground almonds to a large bowl.
Combine figs, apricots, and cranberries in the food processor and pulse until finey chopped. Transfer fruit to the bowl with the almonds. Stir in sesame seeds, anise seeds, ground cloves, cinnamon, and honey.
Add brandy one tablespoon at a time and stir until absorbed. The mixture should be just moist enough to form large clumps.
Divide mixture between 10 cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin, pressing with the back of a spoon. Press one almond into the center of each cake.
Allow the cakes to stand at room temperature for two days. At the end of the second day, run a thin knife around the edge of each cake to release them. Wrap each cake in plastic and store at room temperature for up to one month.