1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup buttermilk or 1/4 cup water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup candied cherries, cut in half
1 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup chopped nuts
Pecan halves, if desired
Beat brown sugar, shortening, buttermilk and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until blended, or mix with spoon. Gradually stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in cherries, dates and chopped nuts. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease cookie sheet.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonsful about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet. Place a pecan half on each cookie if desired.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched lightly with finger. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool completely.
Yield: 48 servings