First off: enjoy this image of chopped figs in all their glory. This was the only picture I could snap off before the winter storm blew in, blocking any natural light and dumping sleet and snow everywhere. Should make for a fun drive to my parents' house later today. Super. Can't wait to scrape all the ice and snow off the car and freeze my butt off and potentially drop presents in the white stuff while trying to pack up the car and then forget something in my rush to get out of the weather...
(Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c.) unsalted butter, room temperature
Filling and Cookies:
9 oz. dried Mission figs, stems discarded
1/2 c. dried currants
3/4 c. honey
1/4 c. orange juice
2 Tbsp. applesauce
3/4 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
A generous pinch of the following ground spices: cloves, nutmeg, and ginger
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Splash of rum
1 c. almonds, chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
For the pastry dough: Whisk the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl to blend. Mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork until the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a ball. Divide the dough in 2 and flatten into disks. Wrap the dough disks in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper. Finely chop the figs and currants in a food processor. Add the honey, orange juice, applesauce, spices, rum, and lemon zest, and pulse just to blend. Scrape the fig mixture into a medium bowl. Stir in the almonds. Transfer the fruit mixture to a pastry bag.
Roll out 1 disk of dough on a floured work surface to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut out dough rounds. Gather the dough scraps into a disk, then cover and refrigerate while assembling the cookies. Spoon the fruit mixture in the center of each dough round. Lightly moisten the edges of the dough with the egg wash. Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges to seal. Arrange the cookies evenly apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the tops of the cookies with egg wash. Bake until the cookies are pale golden, about 18 minutes.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely. Repeat with the refrigerated dough scraps and remaining filling.