As we approach another weekend, I thought I’d give everyone a sweet reminder of SHF #35: The Beautiful Fig!

The deadline for submissions is midnight on Monday September 24th with the round-up to be posted on Friday September 28th.

I’ve had a few comments and questions from people about fresh figs so I just want to remind everyone that you don’t necessarily have to use fresh figs. You can use dried figs or any product made with figs. Be creative!

For a little inspiration, I decided to make Fig and Pistachio cookies from a lovely cookbook that I purchased a few months ago: Italian Baking Secrets. The book is written by Father Giuseppe Orsini, a priest from New Jersey.

I’d never heard of Father Orsini until I wandered into The Cookbook Store one day and saw his book front and centre. He’s apparently the author of numerous books on Italian cooking and baking, although this one is the first that I’ve seen.

It’s a sweet book filled with recipes, many of which I recognized from weddings and showers. As soon as I saw the recipe for these cookies, I knew I had to give them a try.

Enjoy the figs and I can’t wait to see what you create!


Fig and Pistachio Cookies
Adapted from Italian Baking Secrets by Father Giuseppe Orsini.

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.

Let cool completely and dust with icing sugar before serving.


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