I bet you all have that very special folder with the recipes you cannot live without, like Paula Wolfert's Seven Hour Garlic Crowned Lamb or my grandmothers Vanilice. Well, a while ago, Food & Wine published a wonderful recipe for Apricot-Tarragon Cocktail Cookies, by Dorie Greenspan. Once I made and tasted the cookies, poof, the recipe went straight to my very special folder. I also bookmarked the webpage, then I mailed it to myself, cc-ing Dr. V, and printed a copy of it, as I needed to make sure that it never gets lost, in case God forbid Food & Wine goes under, or my hard drive goes under, or Dr. V goes under.
Apricot-Tarragon cookies also made me think of all other combinations of dried fruits and herbs and I undertook an extensive project of trying everything that comes to mind. Date and rosemary, fig and rosemary, cranberry and rosemary, pineapple and lemon verbena, mango and lemon thyme, just to name a few possibilities -- all magnificent, due to the ingeniousness of Dorie's basic recipe! Fig and rosemary was the winner among the family and friends, and became our staple cookies. We take them to work, eat them in school lunches, we bake them for holidays, we wrap them as presents, and we still cannot have enough. They are the perfect ending to a perfect dinner, when, you know, a chocolate cake would be a bit too much, when one needs just a touch of sweetness and maybe a tiny piece of cheese and a sip of port to toast to the ending of a wonderful meal.
Happy Thanksgiving folks!
Fig & Rosemary Cocktail Cookies
(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
* 1/2 cup dried figs
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
* 1/2 cup Demerara or Turbinado sugar (I often use "Sugar in the Raw")
* 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
* 1 large egg yolk
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
In a small bowl cover the figs with warm water. Leave for 15-20 minutes, until the figs are plump and soft. Drain the figs completely and dry with paper towel. Chop the figs into small pieces.
In a different bowl, rub the rosemary leaves into the sugar.
In a mixer fitted with paddle, beat the butter with the rosemary sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg yolk. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and beat until smooth. Add the salt and flour and beat until the dough forms. Dust the figs with flour to prevent them from sticking together, and using a large spatula fold them into the dough.
Place the dough onto a work surface and knead until it comes together. Press the dough into a disk and refrigerate for about 4 hours, or overnight, until firm.
Preheat the oven to 325°F convection bake (350°F regular bake).Place the dough on the parchment paper or work surface dusted with flour, and roll it out to a 1/4-inch-thick round. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out the cookies and arrange them one inch apart on the baking sheets.
6. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes until they are lightly golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack or flat surface to cool completely.
Makes about 40 cookies
p.s. The cookies are at their yummiest if you wait for a day. So be patient, it usually pays off.