Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Cookie Recipe #157 - Fig Bars
Fig Newton look-alikes and taste-alikes, maybe even better. There are several steps involved along with time, but the fig middle can be made ahead.
Ingredients: 1 cup (2 sticks)unsalted butter, room temperature, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, finely grated zest of 1 lemon, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon milk, 3 cups roughly chopped dried Calimyrna figs (about 1 pound), 1/4 cup honey, 1 cup red wine, 1 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon finely ground pepper.
Instructions: In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, 1 egg yolk, vanilla and zest; mix well. Add flour and salt; mix just until dough comes together. Divide dough in half; wrap each half in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
In the meantime, make fig filling: Combine figs, honey, red wine, water, cinnamon, and pepper in a non-stick frying pan, and cook over low heat, stirring often, until reduced to a thick paste, 10-15 minutes. After mixture cools slightly, pulse until smooth in food processor. Spread mixture on a baking sheet to cool completely. (The filling can be made ahead and refrigerated up to one week. Bring to room temperature before using).
On a floured surface, roll out one half of dough to slightly larger than a 9x14 inch rectangle. Remove excess flour with a dry pastry brush, and trim to even edges. Pick up dough by wrapping it around a rolling pan; unroll it unto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread cooled filling evenly over pastry. Roll remaining dough; cover filling. Trim excess pastry to make a rectangle. Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine remaining egg yolk and milk. Use a paring knife to score dough lightly into 1 1/4x3-inch bars. Lightly brush with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into bars and enjoy.
Bars can be stored betweeb layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Makes 2 dozen bars.
"Martha Stewart's Cookies", Publications International, Ltd., Lincolnwood, IL, 1994.