Thursday, March 12, 2015

Fig Cookies

I didn't eat a fig until I was an adult. I think I may have first enjoyed them on pizza. I was hooked. I now keep a stash in my pantry and use them in both sweet and savory dishes including baked goods, appetizers, pizza, spreads, etc. We even tried to grow figs. Unfortunately, the tree perished in the great polar vortex of 2014. But that's a story for a different blog.

These cookies are the homemade version of the commercial fig cookies. I especially like them because they're loaded with figs. They also have a bit of whole grain flour along with 2 grams each of protein and fiber. In my book, that's a good enough reason to enjoy them for breakfast along with a bit of greek yogurt.

Store these cookies in an airtight container, or freeze for longer storage. I find the flavor improves if they're allowed to sit overnight. The filling mellows and the crust softens and becomes more tender.

Combine dough ingredients, cover and refrigerate for two hours.

Combine filling ingredients, cook for 3-5 minutes and
set aside to cool.The filling will be very thick.
Roll refrigerated dough to 14 x 16-inch rectangle.

Cut dough into four 4-inch wide strips. Spread
filling down the center of each strip.

Lift sides of each strip and place over filling.
Don't worry if the dough cracks - it will come together as it bakes.

Cut each strip in half cross wise. Place on a baking sheet and cut
each strip into 1-inch pieces. Don't separate the cookies.

Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet before separating. Remove to a cooling rack.

Fig Cookies
From The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

1 lb dried figs, stems removed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp orange juice

Make the dough:
In a large bowl, beat together shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until creamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, beating until blended. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. In the meantime, prepare the filling.

Make the filling:
Grind the figs in a food processor until a sticky, cohesive mass forms. Combine figs, sugar, water and juices in a medium saucepan stirring to distribute ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes very thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Make the cookies:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll on a lightly floured surface into  14 x 16-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 4 strips, each measuring 4 x 14 inches. Spoon filling evenly down the center of each strip. Lift sides of each strip over filling and press to seal. Cut each strip in half crosswise, making a total of eight 7-inch strips. Place strips seam side down, leaving 3 inches between strips, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut each strip into seven 1-inch pieces, but don't separate them. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until they're puffed and firm to the touch. Cool for several minutes on the baking sheet before separating and cooling completely on racks.

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