Thursday, 6 May 2010

Recipe 15 - St Joseph's Fig Cookies

I had a hard time choosing what recipe I wanted this week beyond narrowing it down to a final three. In the end I rang Her and asked her what type of treat she fancied. She said a biscuit was what she wanted so here we go!

I really like the idea of these, a nice, slightly crispy crust and yummy, figgy centre. I cut the nuts out of the recipe from Serious Eats (originally from My New Orleans by John Besh) since I'm not a fan. You can find the recipe, with comments and a bit of background here. There's a total of around 2800 calories in this recipe, working out to just over 100 calories per biscuit.

St. Joseph's Fig Cookies

- makes about 2 dozen cookies -


For the filling:
3 tablespoons sherry
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
200g dried figs, stems removed
45g raisins
1/4 cup honey (3T plus 1t)
1 dash ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

For the dough:
155g all-purpose flour
50g granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
60g cold butter, diced
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk

For the icing:
150g powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Colored sprinkles


1. For the filling: Bring the sherry and the orange juice just to a boil in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, put the figs, raisins, honey, cinnamon, and lemon zest into the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are very finely chopped.

2. Pour the sherry mixture through the feed tube of the food processor and continue processing the fig mixture to a finely chopped paste.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip, or, instead of using a pastry bag, put the filling into a bowl, cover, and set aside.

3. For the dough: Sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles cornmeal. Stir in the eggs and milk, mixing until the dough is well combined.

4. Divide the dough in half. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into 2 long strips 1⁄8 inch thick and about 4 inches wide. Cut the strips in half lengthwise.

5. To fill the dough: Use the pastry bag or a spoon to pipe or spoon a quarter of the filling down the middle of each strip of dough. Using a pastry brush, moisten the dough with water on either side of the filling. Roll the dough over the filling, completely enclosing the filling, then gently press on the seam to seal the dough.

6. Preheat the oven to 350°f, gas mark 4. Place the pastry logs seam side down and slice them on the bias into cookies about an inch long. Place the cookies at least ½ inch apart on nonstick cookie sheets and bake until pale golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Set the cookies on a rack to let cool.

7. For the icing: Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a wide bowl.

8. Dip the top of each cookie into the icing, then scatter sprinkles over the tops.

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