Even if you are not a fan of fruitcake, this old-fashioned Victorian cookie recipe is moist, keeps well and is a great cookie for the holidays.  Emma Borden and the Temperance ladies would not approve of this recipe as a considerable amount of liquor is essential to the flavor.  Good whiskey, bourbon, brandy or cognac can be used. The original “Lizzies” used whiskey, which soaks into the fruit and nuts for a memorable flavor. It was a special favorite of the gentlemen. Southern ladies made “Georgia Lizzies” which featured peach brandy.

Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 t vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
3 t baking soda
1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

  1  tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. ginger

1 lb raisins  (golden or dark, currants may also be used)

 1 lb dried fruits ( a mix of dried cherries, apricots, figs, cranberries, pineapple, or dates). If you use candied citron from the supermarket, wash in a strainer with hot water first in order to remove the syrup coating on the dried fruit.

4 cups nuts (use a mix of pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, slivered almonds).

 1/2 cup cognac or good quality whiskey or brandy

The night before you bake the cookies, soak the fruits in the liquor of choice.

Blend the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and spices in a large bowl. Stir in the baking soda, then add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until fully combined. You should have a sticky cookie dough. Fold in the fruit including any leftover liquid, and add the nuts. Mix until well combined and the dough looks chunky with fruit and nuts.  With a teaspoon, scoop up the dough and drop on a lightly greased cookie sheet, patting the dough slightly into a rounded shape and bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes. Cool on a rack. They may look a little moist and shiny on top but they will keep for weeks in a tightly closed cookie tin stored in a cool place.