H&H style editor Andrea Mills' recipe for traditional holiday fruit cake. This recipe yields one 8" by 8" pan, though she advises doubling the recipe since you're doing all the work anyway.
1-1/2 lb. candied cherries, mixed green, red, yellow
1/4 lb. candied pineapple
1/2 lb. dates (1-1/2 cups)
2 lb. raisins
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup brandy
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in a little brandy
2 cups flour
1 tsp each of nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cinnamon
Step 1: Preheat oven to 275°F.
Step 2: Cut fruit: cherries in half, pineapple in 1/4" squares and rest to size of cherries.
Step 3: Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs, molasses, brandy and baking soda.
Step 4: Sift flour with spices. Add flour mixture and liquids to butter alternately. Reserve 4 serving spoons of batter.
Step 5: Add fruit to remaining batter. Spoon mixture into parchment-lined baking pan. Spoon reserved batter on top hiding fruit.
Step 6: Bake at 275°F for 3-6 hours.
Step 7: Remove cake from pan as soon as you can handle it and remove paper. Leave on rack covered with cloth overnight. Pour brandy into cake until it can't hold any more liquid (add more if necessary). Wrap in cloth and put in an airtight container and store for a few weeks.