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To decorate, drizzle with a confectioners' sugar icing made with 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cream and top each one with a sliver of candied cherry.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups dates, chopped
3 cups walnut pieces, chopped
2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup whiskey
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure foil is tucked into corners and there is at least 1 inch overhanging top of pan on all sides.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
3. Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs. Stir in flour mixture on low speed. Stir in dates, walnuts, raisins and whiskey. Batter will be stiff.
4. Scrape batter into prepared baking pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake until bars are just set in center, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Grasping overhanging foil on either side of pan, lift out bar and place on cutting board. Cut into 24 squares and then cut each square in half.
Fruitcake bars will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Makes 48 cookies.