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November 26, 2011 Arts & Entertainment, Local News 2 Comments
Fig cookies - today's equivalent of figgy pudding?

Fig cookies - today's equivalent of figgy pudding?

It would be Cookie Monster’s dream to browse the selection of homemade Christmas cookies that will fill the tables at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Dec. 10. That’s the date of the 7th annual Homemade Christmas Cookie Fair.

The halls will be filled with the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg, lemon and vanillaand all those aromas that summon thoughts of Christmas.

Cookies will be on sale from 10 a.m. until they are all sold – which happens quickly, so get there early.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is located at 3l Main St. in East Haddam, CT.

You can also enjoy some homemade pastries and coffee while you browse.

The price is $7 for a pound of cookies – and remember, a heaping plate of cookies makes a nice gift for the hosts as you begin your rounds of holiday visits.

Or if you’re like me and can’t make a decent chocolate chip cookie to save your life, you can still put out a plate of “homemade” cookies and just smile when someone compliments you on your baking skills.

Posted Nov. 26, 2011

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Who is the cookie chef in your family or among your friends?

  2. In case you’d like to try it – here’s the recipe for those delicious fig bars in the photo:

    Fig Bars with Orange Zest
    (Makes 16, about 3.5 hrs to make including cooking time)

    Ingredients
    For the baking pan: unsalted butter, at room temperature,
    For the filling:
    10 ounces dried Calimyrna figs (or other dried figs), stemmed and quartered
    1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    2 strips orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons orange juice
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    For the crust and topping:
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut up
    1 large egg

    Directions
    Heat oven to 375° F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil; butter the foil.

    Make the filling:
    In a small saucepan, combine the figs, brown sugar, orange zest, and ½ cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the figs are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove and discard the zest.
    Transfer the fig mixture to a food processor, add the orange juice and salt, and process until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature.

    Make the crust and topping:
    In a second medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, mix in the butter and egg until a crumbly mixture forms.

    Make the bars:
    Transfer half the flour mixture into the prepared pan, pat down evenly, and spread the filling over it. Crumble the remaining flour mixture on top, leaving large clumps. Bake until pale golden, 55 to 60 minutes; let cool completely on a wire rack. Lift the bars out of the pan, using the foil to help, and cut into 16 2-inch bars.
    Storage: Keep the fig bars at room temperature, between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.

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