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Monday, December 7, 2009

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies

I was itching to bake something and since I had gotten Tish Boyle's The Good Cookie out of the library I figured why not I made 3 different cookies, Gingersnaps, Strawberry Fig Pillows(adaptation), and Lebkuchen(blog later). Even though the gingersnaps were soft the flavor was GREAT. I love the addition of the crystallized ginger to the recipe. This cookie recipe would be good to use as a sandwich cookie almost like a whoopie cream pie.
Gingersnaps from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle
Makes about 60 cookies

2 2/3 all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. salt
I added ½ tsp. black pepper
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs, room temperature
¼ unsulphured molasses
¼ tsp. finely grated lemon zest (didn’t use)
2 tbsp. turbinado or coarse sugar, for sprinkling

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and crystallized ginger at medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the molasses and lemon zest and beat until combined. At low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough fro 30 minutes (or up to a day).

3. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two baking sheets.

4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 ½ inches apart. Moisten your palm to prevent sticking, and flatten each cookie into a perfect 1 ½ inch round. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the turbinado or coarse sugar and bake, one sheet at a time, for 9 to 11 minutes, or until they are puffed and lightly golden around the edges. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Now, these right here are the kinds of cookies that will make you smack your mama. I have never liked the fig newtons out of the store. Why, you ask? I don't know, I answer, they just tasted ick to me. While I was in the grocery store I thought about figs and wondered when they were in season. I still don't know, but low and behold there were dried figs and I decided to purchase some. Luckily I had Tish Boyle's The Good Cookie cookbook at home and she had a recipe for it.

The cookie dough is so soft, that you almost forget that you are eating a cookie. If you get the chance, take a look at Tish's website and go get that book.

Strawberry Fig Pillows adapted fromThe Good Cookie by Tish Boyle
Makes 72 cookies

Cinnamon dough
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
9 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry Fig Filling
14 ounces halved dried figs
8 ounces frozen strawberries
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups water
¼ tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp strawberry extract
*Because I added extra strawberries I had extra filling, so you can double the dough or use the filling in a different pastry/cookie.*

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar at medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the vanilla extract. At low speed, add the flour mixture, beating just until the dough starts to come together.

3. Divide the dough into four pieces, and shape each piece into a rough rectangle. Wrap each rectangle in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes, until firm (or up to 2 days).

4. In a medium sauce pan, combine the figs, strawberries, sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the figs are tender when pierced with a fork. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.

5. Remove the cinnamon stick from the fig mixture, and transfer it to the bowl of a food processor. Add the strawberry extract. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Let the filling cool completely.

6. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two large baking sheets.

7. Unwrap one of the dough rectangles and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 9 inch square about 1/16 inch thick. Using a pastry wheel or large sharp knife, cut the squares in half, to make 2 rectangles. Spoon about ¼ cup of the filling lengthwise down the center of each rectangle, mounding it slightly toward the center and leaving about ¼ inch of the dough uncovered at each end. Lightly brush the exposed dough with water. Fold the uncut long edge of each rectangle up over the filling so that it covers about 2/3 of it. Fold the other long edge of each rectangle over, covering the filling completely and over-lapping the other edge. Pinch the ends of the dough together to seal the filling. Transfer each loaf to one of the prepared baking sheets, placing it seam side down. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

8. Brush the top of each loaf with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake the logs, one sheet at a time, for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let the logs cool completely on the baking sheets.

9. Using a serrated knife, trim the ends of each log, then slice slightly on the diagonal into ¾ inch strips.


How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Mmmm those fig pillows look delightful! ;)

Nina said...

Love, love, love Tish's book! Your Fig Pillows look heavenly!

Deeva said...

Thanks ladies for the compliments.