Dried fruits add flavor, texture, and color to baked goods.

Berries and cherries: Dried cranberries, blueberries, and cherries are available in larger supermarkets or through catalogs. They have a very sweet taste and chewy texture. These small, flavor-packed gems can be used in breads, desserts, and pies--anywhere you might expect to find raisins.

Apples, etc: Dried apples, apricots, pears, and peaches can be used whole or chopped. They're readily available at your supermarket.

Dates and figs: Dates and figs come in lots of forms. Just remember, when a recipe calls for "snipped dates," use cut-up whole dates, not the sugar-coated dates. You can find figs in light or dark varieties.

Candied fruits: During the holiday season, supermarkets stock up on candied fruits. They add color and flavor to fruit cakes, quick breads, and cookies. Candied fruits are available as citron, peels, mixed fruit, cherries, pineapple, apricots, mango, and papaya.

Raisins and currants: In terms of baking, the main point of difference between raisins and currants is their size (currants are smaller than raisins). Both have dark brown, wrinkly skin and are very sweet.


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