Monday, December 21, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Cookies - Day 8 - Fig Swirls

i found this recipe at and was so excited as i read the ingredients! there isn't any sugar in these - only honey. yay!

of course, i used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white and i think we have a fairly healthy and tasty cookie here. plus, they are so pretty! they aren't super sweet, which i like. they taste very similar to a fig newton. so, if you like fig newtons, you'll definitely like these swirls. E even liked them (he also loves fig newtons - go figure).

i am afraid to say this only 3/4 of the way through, but the cookie thing is going much better. it started out pretty rough there at first.

these are a little more labor intensive and there are more steps as well as chilling time. i recommend getting to the 2nd refrigeration step and letting them site overnight. or doing everything at the beginning of the day, then getting other stuff done and coming back to slice and bake them off that evening, which is what i did. 

one other thing, the first log i did as they recommended. the second i spread the fig over the whole dough (leaving 1/2 inch border all the way around) and just rolled it up like a pinwheel. when i sliced them, they didn't really end up looking very different. so, either way works.

Fig Swirls (slightly altered from epicurious)
(makes 3 dozen cookies)

pastry dough:
1 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
    7 oz soft dried mission figs, hard tips discarded
    3/4 c mild honey
    2 tsp fresh orange juice
    2 tsp grated fresh orange zest
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
      pastry dough:
      whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

      pulse butter, cream cheese, yolk, and vanilla in a food processor until smooth, then add flour mixture and pulse until dough just forms a ball.

      halve dough and form each half into a roughly 6- by 2-inch rectangle. chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 1/2 hours.

      purée figs, honey, juice, zest, vanilla, and cinnamon in cleaned food processor until smooth.

      roll out 1 piece of dough between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 10- by 8-inch rectangle (about 1/3 inch thick), long side facing you. remove top sheet of wax paper and gently spread one fourth of fig mixture over bottom half of dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. using wax paper as an aid, roll dough, jelly-roll style, halfway, enclosing fig mixture. flip dough, with wax paper and remove paper. spread with one third of remaining fig mixture and roll in same manner, to form an s-shaped log. do same procedure on other roll.  chill logs, wrapped in wax paper, until firm, at least 4 hours, or up to 3 days.

      preheat oven to 375°F.

      cut logs crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices and arrange slices about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. bake until pastry is pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes. let cool completely on wire racks. store in airtight container.

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