Day 5 of our 12 Days of Cookies extravaganza thing, and I chose to make fig shortbread cookies from 1964. They don't look like much, but I think they have a perfect shortbread texture, slightly dry and crumbly, and they have pecans, one of my favorite nuts. The figs are ground up in the food processor and added with the flour, and I was very pleased with the flavor of the pecans and figs together. Plus they get bonus points for being easy, so I count these as a winner. Top Gun helped me make the dough, and for his effort he was allowed to swipe a few dried figs, which he promptly devoured.
I think butter is the key ingredient in shortbread: use the best you can afford and keep it chilled. You want the butter to be cold when you cream it with the sugar, and you want it to be cold when you shape the cookies, otherwise the cookies will just spread and lose their texture when baking. I made the dough then let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes while I performed my mommy taxi duties, the put the bowl back in the frig between shaping batches. Mine did not turn out flat like the Gourmet version, but I like how they look.
Be sure to visit all our friends in the cookie clan to see what cookies they chose as well as the Gourmet website to see all their favorite cookies from 1941-2008.
The Rest of the Cookie Baking Clan
- Sandy of The Bakers Bench
- Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen
- Kelly of Sass & Veracity
- Courtney of Coco Cooks
- Judy of No Fear Entertaining
- Jerry of Cooking By the Seat of My Pants
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- baking sheet buttered or lined with parchment
- food processor
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup pecans, ground
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup ground dried figs (finely chop in the food processor)
- Preheat the oven to 300° F/150° C.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream together the cold butter and sugar until it’s fluffy.
- Stir in the vanilla and ground pecans until the pecans are distributed evenly.
- Mix together the flour and dried figs and add to the creamed mixture on low speed. Finish with the spatula, folding in until you don’t see any white flour specks. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes.
- Shape the dough into small fingers and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 25 to 30 minutes. Don’t let them get too brown. Remove from the oven and let them sit on the baking sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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