A friend of mine, Amanda, recently let me come over and pick all the ripe figs off her tree. We're both fig lovers but honestly I don't know how you would keep up with having that many figs each year. Sell them? Make preserves all the time? Fig Newtons? Hard to say but at least it got me experimenting in my kitchen this weekend.
I found three recipes that I thought I could turn into fig recipes. This cookie was the first. I had heard about my husbands grandmother cooking raisin filled cookies when he was little. He's described them to me and I know that this recipe isn't it just based off of the dough alone. But I wanted to give it a go anyway and switch it up from raisins to figs, fresh figs. It's much easier to find recipes using dried figs than it is fresh so I had to use some creativity.
The resulting cookie is very tender, the cookie part sort of reminds me of a soft shortbread type flavor. Not overly sweet but perfect to compliment the filling, which is sweet. The filling doesn't taste like a fig newton type filling, simply because those are usually dried figs and there is a huge flavor difference when using fresh. I'd describe it as a mild flavor, kind of hard to pinpoint the exact fruit really. Very sweet and I'm pretty sure the only way you'd know it was a fig is when you see the seeds. So if you're not a fig lover you'd still like this cookie, and if you're a fresh fig lover you'll really like this cookie.
I didn't have a small round cookie cutter so I used the only one I had which was almost 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Way too big to be honest. These cookies spread out when cooked so they ended up being about 5 inches wide! Be generous with the filling because the cookies spread so much you'll want a little bit of fruit in every bite. One thing I did love about this recipe is how you don't have to push the seams together, they just sort of melt together when baking. Such a time saver!
Overall I would make these again (but smaller next time). Great use of fresh figs and a wonderful new recipe that you can fill with any of your favorite fruits.
Fig Filled Cookies
Recipe modified from Brown Eyed Baker
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup margarine, softened
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk (I used 1%)
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups water, divided
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 25-30 fresh figs, stems removed, diced
- Cream the sugar and margarine together in the bowl of your stand mixer on medium speed until it is light and fluffy.
- Add the salt and eggs and mix on low speed.
- Add the flour a cup at a time and the milk between flour additions.
- Add the baking powder, baking soda and vanilla extract. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but an hour is better.
- While the dough refrigerates, begin the filling. Add the sugar, cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the water in a small bowl and whisk together to form a runny paste.
- In a medium saucepan, add the figs and lemon juice. Pour over the cornstarch mixture and stir.
- Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens to the desired consistency. You want it thick like preserves. Remove from the pan and place in a separate bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400º
- When the dough is cool, remove 1/3 of it and place on a well floured work surface. Add flour to the top of the dough and work it so it's not so sticky.
- Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick and cut out the rounds with a cookie cutter.
- Place the dough rounds on a parchment lined cookie sheet and space them apart from each other to allow for spreading.
- Fill each circle and top with and additional circle. No need to press the seems together.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Let sit on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
- Continue until all the dough has been used. Store in an airtight container.