Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fig Newtons

The Altitude Adjustment Section
You know that question, if you were lost on a desert Island, what would you take with you? Well besides my GPS, I would have to say an assortment of cookies. I have had to give up cookies to maintain my new svelte figure, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream, does it? Of course I would need chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies, and a chocolate covered macaroon or two wouldn’t hurt, but I would also have to have these fig Newtons. They are a rare treat.

Ingredients for dough
5 tablespoons room temp. unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 room temp. eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups A.P. flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for filling
2 cups dried Figs
1 3/4 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of your electric mixer combine butter and sour cream till light. Gradually add Brown sugar and beat till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time then vanilla. Sift together flour, soda, powder, cinnamon and salt. On low speed gradually add flour to butter mixture. Turn dough onto floured piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

To make the filling, trim the hard stems off the top of the figs. Combine in a saucepan with the water and simmer covered 20 minutes till fruit is almost mushy. Add sugar, lemon rind and salt and simmer 5 minutes more. Place in food processor and pulse till smooth. Set aside till ready to assemble.

Ready to make cookies?
Preheat your oven to 350. Line a sheet pan with parchment or lightly grease pan. Divide chilled dough into thirds and keep two in the frig while rolling out one. On a well-floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle about 5 by 11 inches. Spread 1/3 of the filling slightly to one side of center along the length of the dough (about 2 inches wide and 10 inches long, mounding in the center, leaving a pastry edge exposed). Moisten this edge with a little water, which will act as glue. Now carefully and gently lift uncovered pastry with spatula over the filling and line up edges. Press together to seal then trim edges. And make roll like, half cylinder-ish. Carefully place on prepared sheet pan. Repeat with 2 pieces of remaining dough. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or till lightly browned. When cool cut with a serrated knife into 1 1/2 inch slices. They will be hard. But when placed in an airtight tin, the dough will soften and become cake-ish, just like the yummy cookies you remember. If figs are not your thing you can substitute dried apricots in the filling.