Thursday, December 13, 2012

FIG CRESCENTS

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Fig-filled cookies make a nice addition to a Christmas cookie tray.  This recipe, from Good Housekeeping magazine is easy, and I like the idea of using a fluted round biscuit or cookie cutter for the dough.  Folded in half, it makes an interesting and different shape.  Good Housekeeping does not cook their filling first, and somehow I balked at that idea.    I tweaked the filling recipe, eliminating the raisins, adding sugar and lemon zest and cooking it to blend the flavors better.  The result is a delicious, just-sweet-enough cookie with a crisp but tender crust and nicely flavored filling.  You can use the decorating sugar for the tops of the cookies as I did, or you can leave that off and sprinkle them with powdered sugar.  Either way, you’re gonna love this cookie.

Fig Crescents
Adapted from Good Housekeeping Magazine
Rating:  9 out of 10

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FIG FILLING:
1 (8-oz.) pkg. dried Mission figs, stems removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. grated orange zest
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in 1-quart saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat till bubbling and well combined, about 5 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate, covered.

COOKIE DOUGH:
1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. heavy or whipping cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used my homemade vanilla.) 1/4 tsp. baking soda
2-3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
1 egg white, room temperature 
about 1/4 cup coarse sanding sugar

In bowl of stand mixer, using paddle attachment, beat butter, salt and sugar on medium till creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, cream and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add baking soda and flour, mixing just till blended.  Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten each into a disc.  Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours, or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake cookies, remove filling and dough from fridge at least 1/2 hour before rolling.  Grease two large cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper.  Heat oven to 350F.  In cup or small bowl, with fork, lightly beat white of egg. 

Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a counter top or wooden board.  Sprinkle lightly with flour and top with one disc of dough.  Sprinkle top of dough with flour, cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and roll to 1/8” thickness.  With floured 2-1/2” fluted round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible.  Wrap and reserve trimmings in fridge.  Carefully place dough rounds 1” apart on prepared sheets.  (If dough warms too much, just place entire sheet of plastic wrap with cutouts in freezer or fridge for 5-10 minutes.)  Spoon one level teaspoon filling onto 1 side of each dough round.  Fold dough in half over filling.  Gently press edges to seal.  Lightly brush crescents with egg white; sprinkle with decorating sugar.  Bake 15-16 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.  Repeat with remaining dough, trimmings, filling, egg white and decorating sugar.  Store cookies in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks or in freezer up to 3 months.  Leftover filling may be used as a jam for toast,  or for crostini or bagels with cream cheese or goat cheese.  Yield:  about 5-1/2 dozen cookies

TIPS: 
To reuse parchment paper, wipe it down with a damp paper towel and store with cookie sheet.
 
Egg whites will beat easily if brought to room temperature.  You can place the cup or bowl containing the egg white in a pan of moderately hot water to quickly bring it to room temperature, just be careful not to cook it.


Today is the final post of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Brenda Thompson.  Her blog is Meal Planning Magic. Next week, I'll do a final wrap and review of all 12 weeks.

Be sure and check out all of the fabulous treats the other participants came up with this week.  And, if you would like to join the hop and add your own Christmas treat recipes (for next year, of course), just contact Brenda for details. 


2 comments:

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

It's nice to see that someone else tweeks a recipe before they bake it. If I see something I think is wrong, I made a change. Love the flavor of the figs and walnuts in these. So pretty too.
Sam

Coleens Recipes said...

Beautiful cookies!! I had no idea you can re-use parchment paper...brilliant!!!