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You asked for it: Fig cookies from the Boston-baked scene

By ANNE LONG

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 26, 2002


Shirley Wall asked for the recipe for two-crust fig cookies that are popular in Boston. Joyce Von Horn has just the thing.

Shirley Wall asked for the recipe for two-crust fig cookies that are popular in Boston. Joyce Von Horn has just the thing.

Shape the dough into a long roll and refrigerate. Cut the chilled dough into thin slices, spoon on a bit of fig filling and top with another slice of dough.

Crimp the edges and bake.

Debbie Anderson's recipe, from a 1998 issue of Family Circle, is for fig roll-up cookies. Spread the fig mixture on rolled-out dough and fold the dough over the filling. Top the baked bars with a tangy lemon drizzle.

Alleene Geisler shares her bean soup recipes with Bill Sutton. Alleene used to mix her own dried bean mixture and then put the mixture in small plastic Christmas trees. She would include the recipe with the gifts. Alleene notes that bean mixtures can be purchased now, but that was not the case in the 1980s.

Orange pound cake baked in a loaf pan is the recipe Filomena DelFarno wants. Nancy Eggert has just the recipe, and it produces two cakes.

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For: Shirley Wall of Hernando

From: Joyce Von Horn of Dade City

Recipe: Two-Crust Fig Cookies

Two-Crust Fig Cookies

Filling:

1/2 cup chopped figs

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Cookie dough:

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup margarine

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 beaten egg

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling: In a saucepan, combine and cook figs, sugar and water until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add nuts.

Dough: Combine shortening, margarine, sugars and egg. Add blended mixture of flour, soda and salt. Shape into a long roll. Wrap in waxed paper. Chill several hours. Cut into about 1/8-inch slices. Place half about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Place 1/2 teaspoon filling on each cookie. Top with another cookie and crimp sides with a fork.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

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From: Debbie Anderson of Oldsmar

Recipe: Christmas Figgy Roll-Ups, Family Circle, Nov. 1, 1998

Christmas Figgy Roll-Ups

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound dried figs, stems trimmed

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2/3 cup confectioners' sugar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Food coloring

Mix flours, baking soda and salt in medium-size bowl.

In another bowl, beat together butter and 1 cup sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and add vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; wrap each half in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Using on-and-off pulses, chop figs in food processor. Combine with remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the water and lemon rind in medium-size saucepan. Cook over low heat 5 minutes. Let cool.

On lightly floured surface, roll out half of dough into 16- by 8-inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise into two strips, each 16 by 4 inches.

Place about 1/2 cup of fig mixture evenly down center of each strip, lengthwise. Fold sides of dough over filling; press edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cut each bar in half crosswise. Transfer, seam side down, to ungreased baking sheet. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

Bake bars in 375-degree oven for 16 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. While still warm, cut bars into 1-inch cookies. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Sift confectioners' sugar into medium-size bowl. Stir in lemon juice until smooth and good drizzling consistency. Divide into three equal portions; color one red, one green and leave the third white. Drizzle over bars. Makes 32 bars.

* * *

For: Bill Sutton of Clearwater

From: Alleene Geisler of Largo

Recipes: Country Bean Soup and Nine Bean Soup

Country Bean Soup

2 cups country bean soup mix

2 quarts water

2 pounds ham, diced and divided

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, mashed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 16-ounce can tomatoes, undrained, chopped

1 10-ounce can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

4 carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick

2 ribs celery, chopped

Rinse beans, then soak overnight. Drain and return to pot with 2 quarts fresh water. Add half the ham, plus the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 2 to 21/2 hours, or until beans are tender.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer an additional 30 minutes.

Note: The ham may be omitted, but seasoning may need to be adjusted. Beef or chicken can be substituted.

Nine Bean Soup

2 cups nine bean soup mix

2 quarts of water

1 pound ham, diced

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt

1 16-ounce can tomatoes, undrained and chopped

1 10-ounce can tomatoes and green chilies, undrained

Wash bean mix; place in Dutch oven. Cover with water 2 inches above beans and soak overnight. Drain beans; add 2 quarts water and next four ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 11/2 hours or until tender. Add remaining ingredients; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

* * *

For: Filomena DelFarno of Spring Hill

From: Nancy Eggert of Dunedin

Recipe: Orange Pound Cake

Orange Pound Cake

3 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups butter (three sticks)

6 eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

4 tablespoons grated orange peel

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups cake flour

In large bowl, combine sugar and butter; beat until well blended. Add eggs, cream, lemon peel, orange peel and salt; mix well. Gently fold flour into butter mixture. Pour half of batter into each of two greased 9- by 5-inch loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 25 minutes. Loosen edges with metal spatula; remove from pans. Place upright on wire racks; cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.

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