posted by Diane 05-08-98 12:01 PM
Title: FIG NEWTONS
Yield: 20 Servings
5 tb Unsalted butter; room temp 2 tb Sour cream
2/3 c Dark brown sugar; * 2 Eggs, room temp 1 ts Vanilla
2 c Flour 2 ts Baking powder 1/2 ts Baking soda
1/4 ts Ground cinnamon 1/2 ts Salt
2 c Dried figs ** 1 3/4 c Water 1/3 c Sugar
2 ts Grated lemon rind 1/4 ts Salt
NB * sifted through a coarse sieve ** preferably moist-pack black figs
For the child of any age who has wondered how the filling gets into a fig bar, here's one way that doesn't require a factory full of machinery. The sweet, figgy filling tunnels through tender, puffy pillows of cookie dough to produce a generously overstuffed version of a sweet that's been a
favorite for generations.
In a small bowl, beat the butter and sour cream until light. Gradually add the brown sugar, beating until the mixture is very light and thick.
Incorporate the eggs one at a time; beat in the vanilla.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, beating on low speed or by hand. Mix well and turn out on a sheet of floured plastic; wrap, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Cut the heavy stems off the figs. Combine the figs and water in a heavy saucepan and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the fruit is soft. Add the sugar, lemon rind and salt and simmer, covered for 15 minutes longer. Press the mixture through a coarse disc of a food mill, then cool. Preheat the oven to 350~. Cover with parchment or lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Divide the chilled dough into thirds and refrigerate two parts. Roll the remaining piece on a well-floured board to form a rectangle about 5x11 inches.
Spread 1/3 of the fig filling slightly to one side of center, along the length of the dough, covering an area roughly 2 inches wide and 10 inches long and leaving a 1/2-inch pastry margin on the three sides of the filling
away from the center.
Mound the filling slightly in the center along its whole length, then moisten the exposed margin with water. Very gently, lift the uncovered pastry with a spatula and fold it over the filling. Press the upper pastry against the lower to seal it. Trim the edges and shape the roll into a neat, half-cylinder form about 11 inches long and 2 to 2-1/2 inches wide.
Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the filling operation with the remaining 2/3rds of the dough and filling, then bake the three rolls for 25 minutes or until they are slightly browned.
Cool the rolls somewhat on a rack, then trim off the ends and, with a sharp serrated knife, cut each one into slices about 1-1/2 inches wide. Replace the slices on the rack. When the fig bars are completely cool, store them airtight. [ Better Than Store-Bought by Helen Witty & Elizabeth Schneider Colchie ]
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