You know you want to. I mean, look what's in them. Relax at the word "fruitcake" in the label. These are no ordinary fruitcakes. First of all, notice that this is dried fruit, not that day-glo candied fruit, which is probably the reason no one likes fruitcakes.
Dried pineapple is just candy. You can't call this fruit anymore. Yum. Chop the fruit, but not too small; we love biting into chunks of fruit.
I left out some of the cast members. Let's take this from the top:
Cream a cup of butter. Real butter, two sticks at room temperature. (Or put frozen butter in the microwave on the power of one for one minute. It works here.) Add 1 1/2 cups brown sugar. None of the white stuff today. Get that all blended. Then add in two eggs, 1 teaspoon each vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda and a half teaspoon each of cloves, allspice and ginger.
Once you have all that good stuff mixed together, take a taste. Oh, yeah. mmmm. I trust my source for eggs. His name is Keith.
Get out a cup of oatmeal and a half cup of apple juice. We always have apple juice around, but improvise if you must. You also need two cups of flour. Don't get all healthy now; use white flour.
The stuff is thick, so alternate dribbles of apple juice with the oatmeal so you can incorporate it all. Then, just when you don't think you can do anything else with the batter, add in all the fruit and nuts. Let your mixer do the work. It can handle it. Take all the tastes you want. The kids are at school and you get to lick the beaters yourself. (I might be talking about myself.)
Smear it into TWO pans (13x9") or drop them by the spoonful on cookie sheets. I have mixed feelings about these methods. Cookies are a pain in my tiny oven (I could only cook one of these at a time!) but I think they look better. The squares don't cut very neatly and get a bit crumbly in the cookie tin. Whichever. Individual cookies should bake for 8-10 minutes and the bars take 25-30. Put the oven at 350° for either.
They're good. They're really good. They will convince you that fruitcake isn't a bad word. You will use them to convince others that fruitcake is alright after all. And then we will all eat.