It is prime season for figs. The harvesting season for fresh figs is mid-June to mid-October. Use them within 2-3 days of purchase. Select figs that are clean and dry, with smooth, unbroken skin. The fruit should be soft and yielding to the touch, but not mushy. Use your nose. Smell the fruit. If it smells slightly sour, it has already begun to ferment. When figs get beyond their prime, they begin to collapse inward and lose their round shape.
It’s important to keep fresh figs cold to slow deterioration. Use them immediately or store in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your refrigerator for up to two days. Figs can be frozen whole, sliced or peeled and stored in a sealed container of plastic freezer bag for up to 12 months.
Fig and Walnut Cookies
Makes 3 dozen
3 cups finely ground toasted walnuts
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped, fresh, peeled figs
Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat butter and maple syrup until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Stir in flour. Add walnuts and figs, stir to incorporate. Dough will be soft, almost like mousse.
Using a small scoop place 1 1/2 inch balls on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets.
My favorite food blogger, David Lebovitz, posted this recipe earlier this week. I often use sea salt in my cookie recipes to give the cookies an extra bite and complexity. I found the notion of adding flaky sea salt and salted butter to chocolate chip cookies very appealing. Give it a try. (Photo from David’s blog.)
Salted-Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Makes two dozen cookies
If you don’t have salted butter, you can use unsalted butter and add another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
4 ounces (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 cup toasted nuts, coarsely chopped
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar just until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Stir the flour mixture into the beaten butter until combined, then mix in the chopped chocolate (including any chocolate dust) and the chopped nuts. Cover and chill the batter until firm. (It’s preferable to let it rest overnight.)
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Form the cookie dough into rounds about the size of a large unshelled walnut. Place the mounds evenly spaced apart on the baking sheets, and press down the tops to flatten them so they are no longer domed and the dough is even. Bake the cookies for ten minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies look about set, but are not browned. Remove from the oven and quickly tap the top of each with a spatula, then return to the oven for two to five more minutes, until the tops of the cookies are light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool.
Storage: The cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to five days in an airtight container. The dough can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for one or two months.Read More
A great post by David Lebovitz on substitutions in baking. (I particularly like the fact that he is not in favor of fat substitutions, but then again I LOVE butter.)Read More
One of my colleagues at work brought in these delicious blueberry and cream cookies. They were buttery with a slight sour-cream taste. The recipe is from Momofuku (David Chang). It is two parts. First milk crumbs, then cookie batter. I found the recipe on the internet and just saw a variation published in the September 2010 edition of Bon Appétit. It was well worth the time in the kitchen. Enjoy!!
Momofuku: Blueberries and Cream Cookies
Makes 18 to 24 cookies
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon nonfat milk powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup white chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons milk powder, flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Stir in melted butter until well combined. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake until dried and crumbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove milk crumble from oven and let cool completely.
Transfer milk crumble to a large bowl and fold in remaining 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons milk powder and white chocolate. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Blueberries and Cream Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 large egg
3/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup Milk Crumbs
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Cream butter, sugars, and corn syrup until well combined. Add egg and mix.
Add flour mixture and mix then add blueberries and milk crumbs. Scoop dough into balls and place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Transfer baking sheets to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until cookies are golden brown and tops begin to crackle, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.