|The Bridgehampton Florist outdid themselves at their own table
at this year’s Hampton Classic
|Joy Marks, a Hampton Classic
habituee, seemed to have
our colors in mind this year.
|From left to right…
Salted Chocolate Chunk,
Brownie Bites, Pecan Squares
and Fig Newtons
Today we feature her Fig Newtons. Instead of the hard crusty commercial fig filling we grew up with, here the figs are a lovely soft layer in the middle of a shortbread pastry crust that is buttery and rich and fall apart flaky. You can taste the freshness of the figs all the way through. Here’s the recipe which says it yields 12 cookies. Since Andrew was serving an assortment of cookies, he cut these in half. If he had not, he would have had a cookie about 5 inches long by 1 ½ inches wide. That’s some cookie!
2 pints ripe black mission figs or any fresh fig…we used what was at the farm stand.
1 orange, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher saltTo make the filling:
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes, or until the figs have softened and lost their shape and the filling jam-like. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool for 1-2 hours, or to room temperature (if the jam is soupy, drain a little excess liquid before using as filling). The jam can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To make the shortbread dough: Using a stand mixer fitted with a the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and paddle to make sure the egg is thoroughly incorporated. In a small bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix for about 15 seconds, or until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl again to make sure all of the flour is thoroughly incorporated.
- Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap entirely, pressing down to form a disk about 6-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes, or until it has firmed up but is still somewhat pliable.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, heat to 350F.
- Place the dough disk on a large sheet of parchment paper. Liberally flour the dough on all surfaces, then roll out into a rectangle about 16 x 9 inches and 1/4 inch thick. Don’t let the dough stick to the parchment or the rolling pin by adding a little flour as you gently roll the dough out.
- Position the rectangle with a long side facing you. Spoon the cooled filling lengthwise along the center of the rectangle. In a strip of about 2 1/2 inches wide. Lifting the edge of the parchment farthest from you, drape the top of the dough rectangle over the jam, covering the top half of it. Gently peel the parchment away from the dough. Repeat with the bottom edge of the parchment, draping the bottom of the dough over the jam. The edges of the dough rectangle should meet in the middle. Gently pinch the edges of the dough together, and then turn the rectangle over, so it is facing seam-side-down. Using a pastry brush or your hands to brush any excess flour off the parchment.
- Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until the short bread is entirely golden brown. A little fig juice make leak out the sides, but it’s fine. Let cool on the baking sheet for at least 2 hours, or until completely cool. Using a chef’s knife, cut on the diagonal into strips about 5 inches long and 1 inch wide.
- The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Recipe for John Barricelli’s Pecan Squares from the SoNo Baking Company Cookbook (Clarkson Potter 2010).
In a bowl, whisk the flour to aerate it.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and salt on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Add the egg and yolk and mix to combine. Add the flour and beat until it has been absorbed.
Scoop about half of the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, shape into a flattened dish, and wrap in the plastic. Do the same for the other half. Refrigerate until firm, at least two hours To make the filling:
Set the oven rack in the middle position in the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees.
On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to the dimensions of the baking sheet. Carefully transfer the dough to the rimmed sheet and with the back of a spoon or your fingers, press the dough into the pan from corner to corner. Bake until lightly golden, 20 – 25 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. Leave the oven on.
In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, sugars, honey, heavy cream and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the pecans and continue to stir until it is back to a boil, then cook about 2 minutes longer. The caramel should be golden in color. Remove from the heat. Using an offset spatula, spread the caramel over the cooled crust. Bake until the filling is bubbling and jiggles slightly in the center, about 15 minutes.
Let cool in the baking sheet on a wire rack. Then cut into 1-1/2 inch squares.
2 cups chopped chocolate – 1 semi sweet, 1 bittersweet
3. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Remove the dough from the refrigerator to soften. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and place them 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle the top of each ball of dough with Fleur de Sel. In our oven, which is perfectly calibrated these were baked for 11 minutes. You may find you need as little as 9 minutes or as many as twelve so start to check at the 9 minute mark. The cookies should be golden brown at the edges and no longer look wet on top. Rotate baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven and let cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Use a metal pancake turner to transfer them to rack to cool completely before storing or stacking. May be stored in a tightly sealed container for several days. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 c sugar
1 T light corn syrup
2 large eggs, room temp
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Coat one 24 mini-muffin pan with Baker’s Joy. (Andrew had enough batter for 27 so that when the initial 24 were done, he made the remaining three in the same tin.