Holiday Cookies: Fig Swirls

Fig Swirl

Here’s another in my series of Holiday Cookies unapologetically swiped from Gourmet magazine (December 2005). This time I used the Fig Swirl recipe on page 114.

The filling is quite tasty. Figs + orange zest = yummy goodness. Rich and sweet with a little bit of…uh…bitterness. Also, I’ve discovered the most simple of food laws. Let’s call it Kate’s Law of Baked Cookies. This law states that cookies baked in the oven taste best directly from the oven.

I know, I know. This is hardly news. But as with any scientific law, it’s not codified until you put it down in writing.

Cookie Dough

  • 1 3/4 cups AP Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz. Neufchâtel Cheese (Cream cheese will also work)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1 cup packed soft dried figs (8 oz.), hard tips discarded
  • 3/4 cup of clover honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside for a moment.

With a food processor, pulse together the butter, cheese, egg yolk and vanilla, until smooth. Add flour and pulse together until dough forms a ball.

Halve the ball of dough and shape each half into a 6″x2″ brick. Wrap in Saran wrap each brick and place in refrigerator for 90 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, puree the figs, honey, juice, zest and cinnamon until smooth. You can do this in a processor or with a mixing stick. Set aside.

After the 90 minutes, place a brick of dough between two sheets of wax paper. Roll the dough into a 8″x10″ rectangle. Remove the top wax paper and spread the fig mixture over the bottom half of the dough, leaving about 1/4″ border. Using the bottom wax paper, roll the dough into a jelly roll style, halfway.

Flip the dough with wax paper. Remove last wax paper. Spread 1/3 of the remaining fig spread and roll in the same manner to make an ‘s’ style roll.

Repeat the above process with the other dough brick. Wrap the rolls back in Saran wrap and chill for 2-4 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut logs into 1/3rd inch slices and place on buttered cookie sheets. Seperate each slice by 2 inches. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool. But eating them warm is still the best way to go. Call it chef’s prerogative.

Makes 4 dozen cookies

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