Recipe creation is a journey for the food blogger. It starts with an idea – that “Aha!” moment you have as you’re scrolling Pinterest or watch Food Network where two ideas connect and you have your next culinary project. Sometimes it’s walking along a market and discovering an ingredient you can hardly pronounce and deciding you are going to pair it with an ingredient you use five times a week. And working with a recipe, researching different scientific reactions, figuring out ratios, and how best to draw out flavor, that’s all part of the journey.
And of course, food blogging in and of itself is a bit of a journey. From yellow blobs on kitchen tables to natural light on hand-painted wooden backdrops and linens you only use for food photography…from technically unsavvy to peer-to-peer networking and sponsored posts. For some it is a hobby turned income. For others, a creative outlet.
Food blogging has been so many things for me up until this point. I love how this hobby has fueled my desire to learn about every single aspect of creating and maintaining a website. It truly has been a wild ride.
No, I’m not announcing the end of Curried Cantaloupe, but the realization of just how important this little blog has become to me – how far I’ve come and how far I want to go!
What does that have to do with these cookies? Well, I’ve been on a job-hunting adventure (another sort of journey, right?) the past few weeks when sweet, honest Christine was taken for a ride when the job she had been offered was suddenly pulled out from under her and she fell flat on her rump, reminded that the only sure thing on the job market is a pay stub at the end of a month of hard work. Basically, I made these cookies three times before I found the time to photograph them somewhere between humidity (not good for foggy, four-eyed photographers), job interviews in the Cities (hello iPod and scenic drives), and hungry family members.
Actually, it wasn’t’ so bad because each filling makes enough for 2 cookie recipes…or one batch of cookies and one batch of jam, yogurt topping, oatmeal stir-ins, etc. Did I mention eating by the spoon? It’s like fig newton candy.
Let’s get down to my observations after making this so many times. First of all, I am in love. If you eat these cookies straight from the oven they’ll be crispy, reminiscent of the French version of this classic snack. If you cool them and then put them in a plastic bag overnight, they’ll take on that soft, chewy texture that Americans associate with a fig newton.
You can make the dough ahead of time and store it for up to two days in a Tupperware container– just make sure you give it time to come down to a cool-ish room temperature so that it can be easily rolled out.
Do not overfill these cookies unless you want cracked dough. This cookie dough reminds me a bit of pie dough, in that it can be rolled with a generous dusting of flour, directly on its parchment paper. I found myself breaking off the protruding bits and gently pressing them into any cracks or crevices.
I was able to get 2 to three lines of dough out of each batch – I found working with two large rows easier than working with three and I truly loved the filling so much I was eating it by the spoonful, but if you want extra cookies double your dough recipe! I owe a special thank you to the blogger over at Ohnuts.com for the original cookie recipe, modified only ever so slightly.
The cookies do not puff up. No need to give them extra space in the oven. They also do not brown over the top. You’ll start to see the bottom sides turn golden brown and that should be enough.
Now, the only thing left for you to do is make these for yourself! I dare you not to accidentally eat half of the filling as you make these!
- ¾ cup dried figs approximately 16 dried figs
- ¾ cup cranberry juice
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup SUGAR
- 1 stick of butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups flour
- (double the recipe to use all of the fruit filling)
- To make the filling you will need about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Chop the figs into small pieces. Then add the figs, the blueberries, juice, water, and sugar into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then, turn the heat to low and let it simmer gently until the sauce thickens up 1h30 - 1h45, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be almost jam-like or in consistency.
- Let it cool, then transfer to a food processor grind until smooth.
- Set it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- To make the cookies cream the butter and the sugar until light yellow and fluffy. Whisk in the egg white and vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed in. Then slowly sift in your flour. It should come together to a nice soft, somewhat sticky ball. Wrap in plastic and set to chill in the fridge at least 2 hours but up to two days.
- If you leave it longer than two hours, you may want to take it out until it is soft enough to start rolling out.
- minutes before you roll out the dough preheat the oven to 350F.
- If you have doubled your dough recipe, go ahead and divide it into two equal pieces.
- Take out a sheet of parchment paper and generously flour the surface. Place the dough (or one of the pieces) on it and gently roll it out in a rectangle shape. Once you can cut 2-3 long rectangles (imagine adding a line of the fruit filling in the middle and folding the dough over to cover it), stop rolling, cut and add a line of filling down the middle of each roll. Very gently, fold the dough over the filling.
- If you have doubled the recipe, repeat.
- If not, place the parchment/cookies into your preheated oven and bake fore 18-20 or until the bottom is turning golden brown. Take out of the oven. Let cool. Enjoy.