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Christmas Rocks cookies - A vintage cookie recipe filled with nuts and dried and candied fruit. Soft, sweet and delicious!

This Christmas Rocks cookie recipe is another vintage recipe from my mother’s old recipe box. And – as has been the case with so many of the recipes from my mom that we’ve shared earlier on A Family Feast – Jack and I both get such a kick out of the recipe name!

I really have no idea why these cookies are called Christmas Rocks – because they are soft, sweet, and absolutely delicious! I also think they are very festive and perfect for the holidays – with the colorful dried cranberries and candied cherries and pineapple chunks peeking out through the batter. These cookies are also loaded up with nuts – walnuts, almonds and pecans – so they have a great crunchy texture as well!

Christmas Rocks cookies - A vintage cookie recipe filled with nuts and dried and candied fruit. Soft, sweet and delicious!

My mom loved baked goods filled with dried fruits and nuts (she even liked fruit cake!) – so I can totally see why this Christmas Rocks cookie recipe was in her collection.

These easy cookies bake up in about 20 minutes, and I think they are the absolute best served warm right out of the oven. But you can also make them up to a day or two ahead of time. Just store them in an airtight container before serving.

And one last note – although the recipe called for candied cherries and pineapple, plus a mix of walnuts, almonds and pecans, we think any combination of candied fruit and nuts will work well in this recipe. Enjoy!

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Christmas Rocks

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 dozen


  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup candied cherries
  • 2 cups candied pineapple
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour, divided
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Non-stick pan spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rack in top one third of oven.
  2. In a food processor, pulse each nut one at a time until pea sized and place in a large bowl.
  3. Pulse the four fruits one at a time to same size and add to nuts in bowl.
  4. Add ½ cup of the flour to the fruit and nuts and toss and mix until combined. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix butter and brown sugar until creamed. (I used a stand mixer with a paddle attachment but this could be done by hand)
  6. Add the egg and combine.
  7. Add remaining flour, cinnamon, baking soda and vanilla and combine.
  8. Pour this mixture over the fruit and nuts and combine by hand.
  9. Line four cookie sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with non stick pan spray.
  10. Divide mixture into 48 one ounce drops using a small scoop placing 12 per pan.
  11. Bake two pans at a time in top third of oven for 20 minutes but watch that bottoms don’t get too browned. Rotate pans after ten minutes.
  12. Remove to a rack to cool.
  13. Seal and an airtight container.

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Christmas Rocks cookies - A vintage cookie recipe filled with nuts and dried and candied fruit. Soft, sweet and delicious!

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  • Janet wrote:

    How do you give these as a gift if they are best right out of oven and goo for 2 days?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Janet – I’d plan to bake them the day before giving as a gift…not sure what else to suggest!

  • Mercy wrote:


    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Mercy!

  • Mitzi Brock wrote:

    My mother used to make cookies every Christmas called Christmas Rocks! As a kid I would not even try one because they looked like a yucky fruit cake. I now love Christmas Rocks and I will be making them this week. Our recipe uses only pecans for the nuts and does not have the cranberries. They are the best cookies ever and I am glad to finally find someone with the same recipe and still calls them Christmas Rocks! Thank you for sharing

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Mitzi! (I felt the same way about fruit cake as a kid, but my mom loved it!) Have a wonderful holiday!

  • Jackson wrote:

    Christmas rocks, an old English cookie according to my mother’s mother. I have a copy of this recipe hand written by her at the turn of the previous Century (over 100 years ago) long before dried cranberries. It uses one variety of nuts and it uses citron instead of cranberries. The candied fruit in the recipe usually came as a very dry mixture of candied red and green cherries. The cookies always came out very dry and they were hard as rocks by the second day. This made them perfect to dip in hot tea as was the custom. Thank you for the memories.

    • Martha wrote:

      Oh wow – I had no idea this recipe has been around for so long! Thank you!

      • Sam wrote:

        I’m wondering, can the cookies be frozen and thawed to eat later?

        • Martha wrote:

          Hi Sam – We tried doing that with this recipe a few years ago – freezing them in a container in layers with parchment in between. I think they tasted best freshly baked. Hope that helps!

  • Judy kirkham wrote:

    I make these at christmas and dont own a processor. Either buy chopped nuts or put them in a blender. No blender, chop by hand, god forbid. We call them fruitcake cookies and are so good.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Judy! They are very similar to a fruitcake (but better I think?).

  • Sandra wrote:

    Sounds delicious!
    Two comments:
    Recipe calls for 3/4 c flour but only 1/2 c is used. Where’s the other 1/4 c?
    Line 13 is should probably say “Seal and STORE…..”
    Thanks for the yummy-ness!

    • Jack wrote:

      Sandra, this is Jack. I had to go back and find Martha’s mother’s original recipe card to check for my mistake. The rest of the flour goes in with the cinnamon, baking soda and vanilla. I updated the recipe. Thank you so much for letting us know.

  • JoyceB wrote:

    These cokkies remind me of a recipe that l had but lost years ago called Russian Rocks. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks!!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the cookies Joyce! (I’m curious if they are the same recipe!)

  • Karen Kitt-Chapman wrote:

    Reading the ingredients for Christmas Rocks, I thought about fruit/nut trail mixes as a good substitute for the fruits/nuts. I have made oatmeal cookies using trail mix and it is a favorite.

    • Martha wrote:

      Great idea Karen! That substitution would definitely work in this recipe.

  • Linda R wrote:

    Good Morning Martha,
    This recipe reminds me of one my Mother and Grandmother made at Christmas every year. Our family often joked that our Mother found any excuse to use raisins. She would buy them still on the stems, purchasing several at a time. Not sure if they are still available on the stem any more, but I know they were fresher than the boxed ones. Thanks for sharing your Mother’s recipe’s with all of us “sentimental recipe collectors”
    God Bless, Linda

    • Martha wrote:

      I’ve never seen raisins sold on the stem Linda…But I bet they were so much better than the boxed version! Glad this recipe brought back some happy memories for you too…

  • Laura ~ RYG wrote:

    I’m always enamored with cookies loaded with nuts ~ I just feel like it’s a great way to get my protein my for the day. Or at least that’s what I tell myself!! It’s great that there’s pecans, walnuts and almonds ~ my 3 fav’s in here! Maybe throw in a few Macadamia nuts (or not as they are $16.99 a pound where I live!) But they are good! Love recipes from grandma’s box. Just brings back memories =)

    • Martha wrote:

      Macadamia nuts would be a great addition Laura! 🙂

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