Costco fruitcake a big disappointment

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MelOregon
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2011/12/21 00:00:00 (permalink)

Costco fruitcake a big disappointment

Bought one of their fruitcakes because it looked like the kind my dear old mother used to make, with just enough cake to hold all the candied fruit and nuts together, then soaked with brandy for a month.   Took it to her house, and we eagerly cut into it.  (Yep, we're those weird folks that actually look forward to fruitcake.) The cake was just a sweet sticky paste, with a cloyingly strong fake vanilla flavor.  Even individual pieces of fruit were way too sweet, no tang at all.  We each took a couple bites and threw the rest out.   $15 right into the garbage (live about 80 miles away, didn't want to bother with returning it.) Expected better from Costco.
Think it's time to gather stuff together and try to make her recipe again, even if it won't be ready until Valentines Day.
Anyone found a commercial fruitcake they really love?  Anyone else try the Costco one?  How was yours?
#1

28 Replies Related Threads

    mar52
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 01:16:56 (permalink)
    Welcome.
     
    Drive to Waco, TX and stop at Collin Street Bakery.  Very sweet as a fruitcake should be and loaded with fruit.
     
    Or just go to their website and order one.
     
    Be prepared to pay a lot more than $15.
    #2
    felix4067
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 02:17:26 (permalink)
    I find it hard to believe you actually thought fruitcake from Costco was going to taste like your mother's sainted recipe.  If what you want is homemade, you should pretty much always avoid the big box stores and hit a local bakery (or the one in Texas, as mar52 wouldn't steer you wrong).
    #3
    ChrisOC
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 09:01:16 (permalink)
    Mrs. OC and I enjoy Claxton fruitcake from Sam's
     
    http://www.claxtonfruitcake.com/index.php
    #4
    mbrookes
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 13:56:14 (permalink)
    I make my mother's recipe, and it is loaded with fruit and nuts with just enough batter to hold it together. I make it by Thanksgiving and sprinkle it with bourbon every few days until Christmas. Even using gluten free flour, it is great. Never would buy one ready made, even though it is sometimes hard to find the citron.
    #5
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 14:49:03 (permalink)
    Why should Costco's fruitcake be different than any other?
    #6
    mar52
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 16:11:03 (permalink)
    Better than these, get yourself a copy of the Southern Living 1986 Annual Recipe book.
     
    On page 266 you'll find a recipe for Kentucky Fruitcake.
     
    Make it.  It's wonderful.  It's what I do every few years.
     
    People that hate fruitcake eat it.  Might be the booze.
    #7
    Foodbme
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 16:26:01 (permalink)
    Mar,
    Where da Hell do you expect us to find the 1986 Southern Living Annual Recipe Book???
    If you have the recipe, how 'bout posting it?
    Here's the only Southern Living one I could find:
    Old-Time Southern Living 1972 Fruit Cake
    1 large (3 Cup) container mixed candied fruit
    1 small (8 oz) container red candied cherries
    1 small (8 oz) container green candied cherries
    1 small (8 oz) container candied pineapple
    1 package. chopped dates
    1 package. figs
    1/2 box dark raisins
    1/2 box golden raisins
    4 heaping Cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds)
    4 cups. flour, divided
    1 1/2 teaspoons. cinnamon
    1 teaspoon. allspice
    1/2 teaspoon. cloves
    1/4 teaspoon. nutmeg
    2 sticks butter
    1 cup. dark brown sugar
    6 eggs, divided
    2 teaspoons. vanilla flavoring
    1/2 cup. liquid (orange juice and/or bourbon)
    DIRECTIONS
    Add 1 cup of the flour to the fruits and mix (this will keep the dried fruits from sticking together.)
    For the cake's batter: Cream 2 sticks butter with 1 cup dark brown sugar.
    Add 6 egg yolks to the butter and brown sugar; mix well with electric mixer.
    Add 2 tablespoons vanilla flavoring. Sift together 3 cups plain flour along with the dry spices (cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg); measure to just have 3 cups. Add these dry ingredients alternately with the 1/2 cup liquid.
    Beat 6 egg whites until very stiff and fold into the rest of the cake's batter. (After beating egg white until just frothy, add a pinch of salt and continue beating egg whites until stiff.) Add all the floured candied fruit.
    (The mixed fruit comes chopped; no need to chop the other fruits or nuts; they will be sliced when serving the cake. I use both CLEAN hands to mix all the fruit in with the batter; it works better that way.) Bake cakes in a 250-degree oven until toothpick comes out clean. Put pan of water underneath the cakes to add moisture to the cakes.
    Cook's notes: When making this recipe on Nov. 3, I used my new silicone (rubber) tube cake pan and a new Teflon-coated tube pan, both sprayed with oil, and the cakes came out perfectly. I did not have to use parchment paper to line the pans (a job that's sometime hard to do.) Betty uses 1 box each of dark and light raisins; I use one-half box each; your choice. This recipe made 2 tube pan cakes and 1 small loaf pan cake. While the cakes are still warm, pour small amount of apricot brandy over each cake; then repeat this process each week until ready to serve. Forget the jokes about fruitcake; this cake is delicious.
    Recipe source: 1972 Southern Living Magazine
     
    post edited by Foodbme - 2011/12/21 16:27:46
    #8
    mar52
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 17:11:29 (permalink)
    Since you asked....
     
    Copied from the 1986 Southern Living Annual Book: WITH MY OWN CHANGES SO IT ISN'T AN EXACT COPY
     
    1  --  15-ounce package golden raisins
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/4 cup butter
    1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
    1/2 pound candied green cherries, chopped
    1/2 pound cancied red cherries, chopped
    1 pound candied pineapple, chopped
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
    3 eggs, well beaten
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    1/2 tsp ground allspice
    1/2 cup bourbon (optional - as if)
    Candied red cherries, sliced (optional)
    Sliced almonds (optionsal)
     
    combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, and simmer 5 minutes.  Add butter and remove from heat.  Cool and drain, reserving liquid in a large mixing bowl.  Set liquid and raisins aside.
     
    Combine the pecans and candied fruit; dredge in 1/2 cup flour, stirring to coat evenly.  Set aside.
     
    Add eggs to reserved liquid; mix well.
     
    Combine remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices; mix well.  Add to egg mixture.  Stir in raisins and fruit mixture;  blend well.  This mixture will be very stiff and it will look like there won't be any cake at all.... there will.  You can also add a few tablespoons of the bourbon into this mixture.
     
    Spoon batter into a greased, floured brown paper-lined 10-inch tube pan.  Bake at 275º for 2 - 2 1/2 hours or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely in pan.  Remove cake, and take off paper.
     
    Moisten several layers of cheesecloth with 1/2 cup bourbon, if desired; wrap cake in the cheesecloth.  Wrap with aluminum foil; store in a cool place at least 1 week, remoistening cheesecloth as needed.
     
    Garnish with sliced cherries and almonds if desired.
     
     
    Now...  I buy the already mixed fruit from Hadley's.  I also sometimes add chopped crystaled dates that I buy at Sheild's in Indio.
     
    Don't overdo with the boubon or it gets sticky.  Let it dry out before adding more bourbon or giving it as a gift.
     
    It freezes well for years!  (I found a piece when I was cleaning out the freezer in my garage and it was perfect!)
    post edited by mar52 - 2011/12/21 17:23:46
    #9
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 17:25:57 (permalink)
    I'd rather eat rocks, than Fruitcake!
    #10
    Foodbme
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/21 19:36:48 (permalink)
    CTF,
    You've obviously not had a good quality Fruitcake otherwise a man of your discerning, educated palate would know the joy of a well-crafted piece of Gourmet Fruitcake. One, if approached with a source of fire, would immediately ignite like a Baked Alaska or Cherries Jubilee!
    #11
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/22 17:33:48 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    CTF,
    You've obviously not had a good quality Fruitcake otherwise a man of your discerning, educated palate would know the joy of a well-crafted piece of Gourmet Fruitcake. One, if approached with a source of fire, would immediately ignite like a Baked Alaska or Cherries Jubilee!

    Foodbme, I'll buy that!

    #12
    Foodbme
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/22 18:16:06 (permalink)
    Here's a recipe from www.food.com that claims to be the World's Best Fruitcake. I have not tried it.
    The World's Best Fruitcake
    By CaramelPie on May 31, 2005
    6 Reviews all 5 stars
    Prep Time: 20 mins Total Time: 1 hrs 20 mins Serves: 48 Yield: 2 loaves
    About This Recipe
    "My dad started making this fruitcake about 30 years ago. Everyone who hates fruitcake likes this, and everyone who likes fruitcake LOVES this. Many people say this is the ONLY fruitcake they will eat. I hope you'll try this. Just follow the directions EXACTLY, and you'll have the most wonderful fruitcake ever!"
    Ingredients
    14 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
    8 ounces chopped sugar rolled dates
    16 ounces pecan pieces
    8 ounces candied cherries
    8 ounces diced candied pineapple
    2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
    Directions
    Place coconut, dates, and pecan pieces in a very large (7 quart or larger) bowl. With your hands break up chunks of dates & coconut, and stir those 3 ingredients together.
    Add the cherries, pineapple, and sweetened condensed milk. Stir thoroughly. (I wear non-powdered surgical gloves, and stir it with my hands because the mixture is very stiff.).
    Let set at room temperature while you prepare the pans. Spray 2 - 9"x5" loaf pans with Pam. Line the pans with waxed (or parchment) paper. (We cut parchment paper in 4 1/4"x 16 1/4" strips for this. You want the paper to come up past the short sides of the pans after the mixture is packed into the pans.) Now spray the paper (after you've pressed it into the pans) with Pam.
    Stir the ingredients well again. Divide the ingredients equally between the 2 loaf pans.
    Pack VERY TIGHTLY and smoothly into the pans. (I wet my hands & press, pack down, & smooth top, using both hands. Wetting your hands keeps them from sticking to "batter".).
    Place the pans on the middle rack of the oven and bake at 300 degrees F for 1 hour, or until lightly browned. (If the cakes have baked for an hour, or look a little brown around the edges, take them out of the oven & lift edges of paper a little to see if sides look brown enough. If they're brown on sides, but not on top, you may broil the tops for a few minutes and watch carefully.).
    Remove cakes from oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pans.
    Gently lift the edges of the paper a couple of times on each side - kind of a rocking motion. (Sometimes I have to run a sharp knife down the edges of the pan.) Turn pans upside down onto a paper-lined cookie sheet. Lift pans from the cakes. Remove paper from bottom of cakes IMMEDIATELY.
    Let cool completely. Place in a large container (don't wrap yet) and refrigerate overnight.
    Turn cake upside down to slice. After slicing, wrap in waxed (or parchment) paper, then in heavy duty aluminum foil.
    May be refrigerated up to 3 months or frozen up to 1 year.
     
    post edited by Foodbme - 2011/12/22 18:19:55
    #13
    mar52
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 01:25:08 (permalink)
    Two loaves serve 48?  hahahahaaaaa   48 CTF's.
     
    Wait!  Cake?  The only thing in them besides the fruit is sweetened condensed milk?  No spices?
     
    Sounds like caramel with fruit.... or candy.
     
    Too much money goes in to that one for me to try it.
    #14
    BelleReve
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 13:45:58 (permalink)
    My maternal grandmother and mom made fruitcake and it was wonderful, especially my mom's who started her baking in early November, so it was well seasoned (or should I say soused?) by Christmas.  It's rare that a store bought cake is going to be as generous with the nuts and fruit.
     
    Recipes above look great, but if you don't plan on making one from scratch, there's a local company - bakermaidproducts.net that I believe make an excellent fruitcake.  Moist, and full of nuts and fruit, their Creole Royale fruitcake comes in a decorative tin with a picture of St. Louis Cathedral on the front, each slice is individually wrapped.  Our Winn Dixie stores carry it in addition to some independent grocers.  I can never remember the name of it, but the blue tin it comes in is very distinctive. 
    #15
    mar52
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 13:56:23 (permalink)
    I just received a box from Collin Street Bakery!
     
    Woo Hoo!  Calories!
    #16
    bartl
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 16:26:01 (permalink)
    I might try fruitcake again. I used to despise candied fruit, but I will accept that my tastes might have changed. On the other hand, if it is soaked in alcohol, I'll pass. I don't metabolize alcohol properly, so I get sick long before I get drunk; part of the result is that I associate even the feel of alcohol on my tongue with "poison".
     
    Bart
    #17
    mar52
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 19:21:09 (permalink)
    I just finished 3 slices of the Texas Blond Fruitcake that arrived here today.  It was already sliced into twenty servings. 
     
    Very good!  Candied fruit and pecans.
     
    It had a strange delivery.  Sent out to us by Fedex from Texas and at some point the USPS got their hands on it and delivered it to my front porch. 
     
    Luckily I got to it before my sticky fingered neighbor.  Why can't the mail service people ring the doorbell or knock on the door? 
     
    I don't even mind if the lightly toss a package over my patio fence.  At least that way I get it.
     
    Not all fruitcakes are soaked in booze.
    #18
    felix4067
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 19:55:58 (permalink)
    mar52

    Why can't the mail service people ring the doorbell or knock on the door? 

     

    If you're on a motor route, you're lucky they left it on the porch. They're not allowed to leave their vehicles or pull into driveways while delivering mail. And for all other routes, packages that don't fit in the mailbox are supposed to be held for pickup at the post office.
     
    Weird that USPS ended up with it after FedEx, though.
    #19
    mar52
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 20:13:54 (permalink)
    This is weird.  This is the middle of the delivery and it is backwards.  It went from Fedex to the post office in Venice, CA and then to me.  Very strange.
     
     
    Dec 23, 2011 4:35 AM
    At U.S. Postal Service facility
    VENICE, CA
    Arrived at local Post Office - Allow one to two additional days for delivery
    Dec 23, 2011 5:05 AM
    Departed FedEx location
    FEDEX SMARTPOST CHINO, CA
    Dec 23, 2011 12:00 AM
    Shipment information sent to U.S. Postal Service
    Dec 22, 2011 1:24 PM
    Arrived at FedEx location
    FEDEX SMARTPOST CHINO, CA
    Dec 21, 2011 3:15 AM
    Departed FedEx location
    FEDEX SMARTPOST DALLAS, TX
    #20
    Foodbme
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 23:18:05 (permalink)
    The FedEx - USPS Connection is a valid one. They have a joint contract for FedEx to handle USPS mail and packages depending on the region and type of service and other factors. Some USPS mail and packages travel on FedEx Planes and Trucks. It was designed to save the USPS money but in fact has cost them Millions more than handling it themselves. Without it, your mail would be REALLY SLOW! It's a sweet deal for FedEx.
    My local Post Office has a FedEx drop box sitting right in front of the main entrance!
    http://www.postcom.org/public/articles/2002articles/On%20the%20joys%20of%20being%20Fedex.htm
    post edited by Foodbme - 2011/12/23 23:28:06
    #21
    mar52
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 23:48:57 (permalink)
    Thanks.  I never knew that.
     
    My favorite line in the shipping information was:
     
    Allow one to two additional days for delivery.
     
    The person that sent it to me thought she paid for Fedex delivery.  That's where the problem arises.
    #22
    Foodbme
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/23 23:54:51 (permalink)
    Mar,
    It did go FedEx from Dallas To Chino and Chino to the post office in Venice for delivery to you. It was probably the fastest way to get it to you. Your sender got what they paid for.
    This is probably the first step in the privatization of the Postal Service.
    The death of the USPS is in the hands of the Postal Workers Union and their extensive benefits program along with the Internet and Congressional mis-management. 80% of the USPS Budget goes to Salaries and Benefits!
    No business can survive with 80% of it's declining revenue going to Employees who can't be laid off!
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/print/2011/12/who-killed-the-postal-service/249508/
    The USPS is going the way of the Pony Express and Railway Express!
    post edited by Foodbme - 2011/12/24 00:24:42
    #23
    felix4067
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/24 01:25:50 (permalink)
    Funny...postal workers get laid off all the time. Where exactly do you get your information?
    #24
    Foodbme
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/24 02:23:36 (permalink)
    Read the article cited above - "Meanwhile, Donahoe has asked Congress for permission to break the no-layoff provision of the service's current contracts so it can let go the additional 120,000. The key words there, of course, are permission from Congress."
    #25
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/24 12:04:40 (permalink)
    There are some real Fruitcakes working as the USPS! See going Postal!
    #26
    felix4067
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/24 13:25:13 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    Read the article cited above - "Meanwhile, Donahoe has asked Congress for permission to break the no-layoff provision of the service's current contracts so it can let go the additional 120,000. The key words there, of course, are permission from Congress."

    Which, shockingly, is blown out of proportion and also misleading. Below is a screenshot of the APWU national contract, found at http://www.apwu.org/dept/ind-rel/sc/APWU%20Contract%202010-2015.pdf  The picture below is from Page 6. You'll want to follow the link, as the section goes on for quite a while. The end result is that SOME employees cannot be laid off, but by no stretch of the imagination can ALL employees not be laid off.
     

     
    Or, if you prefer, since that contract is not currently in effect, having not yet been signed...the one that expired in 2010 under which they are still currently working. The exact same language is on Page 9.  http://www.apwu.org/dept/ind-rel/sc/APWU%20Contract%202006-2010.pdf
     
    Sorry, didn't mean to drag this away from the topic at hand. I just truly hate when completely wrong information is paraded about as known fact.
    post edited by felix4067 - 2011/12/24 13:32:39
    #27
    Tex-Max
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/24 15:14:04 (permalink)
    mar52

    Welcome.

    Drive to Waco, TX and stop at Collin Street Bakery.  Very sweet as a fruitcake should be and loaded with fruit.

    Or just go to their website and order one.

    Be prepared to pay a lot more than $15.


    Yes they do have a good Fruitcake.  As a child I remember my parents making the trip to Corsicana, TX to the Collin Street Bakery just to get their fruitcake every year for Christmas.   The location I believe use to be in town but I know in the past ten yearsor so they moved where you could see them Off of I-45 between Houston and Dallas.  I have had my eye on their Pineapple Macadamia Nut for several years now.  Kinda like dreaming over the Sears catalog in years gone by. I know it has to be good.
    M
    #28
    eruby
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    Re:Costco fruitcake a big disappointment 2011/12/27 13:16:04 (permalink)
    ChrisOC

    Mrs. OC and I enjoy Claxton fruitcake from Sam's

    http://www.claxtonfruitcake.com/index.php
    I bought a Claxton at WalMart for $2.44 and liked it enough.  I prefer the dark Claxton but they only had regular.  While I would enjoy one of the fruitcakes from the Abbey in Berryville Va a lot more,  it also cost some $35 (including shipping) and for $2.44 for a six inch (or so) bar that's about 3" square, I have no problem with a Claxton.
     
    I'd also think Costco would have taken it back if you weren't happy with it.  The BJ's Warehouse would.

    post edited by eruby - 2011/12/27 13:17:07
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