Friday, September 21, 2007

Fig and Pistachio Biscuits

Upon my usual daily check of the food blogs I read, I saw a recipe from Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for a Fig and Pistachio Biscuit. Coincidentally, I had seen some dried figs at my local supermarket so I knew I could get all the ingredients to make the biscuits.

These biscuits are quite easy to make. The hardest part was shelling all the pistachios. Where can I buy pre-shelled unsalted pistachios? Apart from that, it was pretty basic. There is the strange part of taking the biscuits out of the oven half way, cooling it, cutting into small pieces and popping it back in the oven.

The biscuits taste fantastic. The fig and pistachio combination work so well. The flavour is this strong yet at the same time subtle flavour where you can't quite work out what the taste is. I also like the contrasting textures of the biscuit, with the outer parts being crispy while the centre being a bit softer.

Fig and Pistachio Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange extract (if you don’t have orange extract, use 1 tbsp. grated orange zest)
1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios (don’t chop them up)
1 cup chopped dried figs
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the flour and baking soda and set aside.

Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

Mix in the vanilla and orange extracts (or orange zest).

Stir in the pistachios and figs.

Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.

Scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface and gather into a ball.

Divide the ball into three equal pieces.

Roll the pieces into logs that are about an inch and a half to 2 inches thick and about 10 to 12 inches long.

Carefully transfer the logs to the baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. The logs will be slightly golden and firm to the touch.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.

Carefully slice the logs into cookies (about an inch thick).

Transfer the cookies back to the baking tray so that they are standing upright. Do not lay them on one side. Put the cookies back in the oven for 10 minutes.

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