Figgy Pudding Butter Cookies

By • December 17, 2009 • 64 Comments

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Author Notes: My little invention smells and tastes just like the holidays! I got this idea from the traditional ingredients in figgy pudding. These little butter cookies are studded with chunks of soft fig, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg, AND they get a generous drizzle of brandy-sugar glaze. The aroma from making these delicious cookies fills your house with holiday cheer, and the buttery goodness will fill your belly too!Helenthenanny

Food52 Review: Like mince pies in cookie form, these delicate biscuits melt in your mouth, leaving a hit of sweet figs and a whisper of brandy on your tongue. Helenthenanny's rich, sophisticated cookies are not only delicious to eat but also lovely to look at, drizzled as they are with a spiced brandy glaze. Make sure to squeeze as much liquid as possible from the softened figs, and do not be alarmed if the dough seems wet before you chill it -- it will firm up in the fridge. - A&MA&M

Serves 3 dozen small cookies

For the Cookies

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (from one orange)
  • 8-10 large dried Turkish or Caliymirna Figs (the light brown ones)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups (or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups Confectioners sugar
  • 1 large egg

For the Brandy-Sugar Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cup Confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  1. Sift together flour, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl and set it aside.
  2. Dice figs into small chunks and put them in a saucepan with the milk. Heat on low, stirring occasionally for about 15.
  3. Put 1 1/2 sicks of softened butter in the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on med-high until the butter is fluffy, about two minutes.
  4. Sift 3/4 cup of confectioners sugar into the fluffy butter and mix until smooth.
  5. Add in one egg and reduce speed to low.
  6. Add in flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  7. Strain the figs from the milk. Add them, along with the orange zest, to the dough. Fold in until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  8. After the dough has cooled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, spaced one inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  9. While the cookies are baking, combine all the ingredients for the Brandy-Sugar Glaze in a saucepan on med-low heat, and stir often, until the sauce comes together. After the cookies have cooled, use a fork to drizzle the warm glaze on them.
  10. Please enjoy and have the happiest of holidays!
Jump to Comments (64)

Tags: cookies, cookies, Figs, Figs

Comments (64) Questions (1)

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8 months ago Beverly Conover Davis

I am not a baker but these sound delicious. I have a surplus of dates and wonder if they could be substituted for figs?

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9 months ago Sarah|PickledCapers

These would certainly be worth caroling interminably. The brandy-glaze itself would have me singing at top volume.

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9 months ago jevyn

These taste wonderful. My problem was the dough became too soft to handle, even after being in the refrigerator. Next time, I would just drop them instead of trying to cut them out. Also, the glaze was uneccessary to my palette (I don't like really sweet food). Everyone loved them though. A keeper!

Stringio

9 months ago celliejoe

i use faretti biscotti liqueur for the glaze and it's wonderful.

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9 months ago yomabes

can i use rum instead of brandy for the glaze? i've been looking at this recipe for days and can't wait to finally make them this weekend.

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10 months ago JJGood

FYI, my family (that is, my parents and sister) will no longer let me not make these at Christmas.

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10 months ago Diana

fresh figs will be fine, shopped them up...

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10 months ago kellee

Do you think this recipe would work with mission figs? I have those on hand.

Stringio

10 months ago celliejoe

i made these & they were a big hit. i didn't have time to roll them out, so used a small cookie scoop, then flattened them a little. they were perfect!

Stringio

10 months ago Trudy Maves

What suggestion do you have for using the figgy milk? Seems too good to toss.

Junechamp

12 months ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

hmmm I use a similar glaze on my "plain" pound cake.

Junechamp

12 months ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

So I've decided I'm going to bake all my holiday gifts this year, and this cookie is going to be among the chosen. I have some fresh figs in my freezer, and am wondering how they would do in the cookie.

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over 1 year ago Cena

These got scarfed up during my family christmas. Not too sweet, goes great with coffee, tea, a glass of wine... They are a little chewier than I might have expected, but my mother and boyfriend insisted that that made them perfect, since the fig chunks were chewy too!

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almost 2 years ago GramercyGal

I made these for my office's cookie bake off and I won second prize! Everyone loved them and so did I. They are very different and delicious!

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almost 3 years ago QueenOfGreen

The family is only getting about half of these. Because, um, seems I must have eaten the other half!

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almost 3 years ago lunarmoth

I just found this site and made these cookies for a cookie swap, following the recipe exactly, except x4 (for a lot of cookies to swap). I brought extras to work and many who tasted them made that face. You know the one, the "ohmygodthisissogood" face. I ended up with ALOT of extra glaze, but that's great, cause I will use it on something else. One question regarding the curdling of the milk when you warm the figs. Do you strain the milk and throw the figs and curds into the dough? Not knowing that it was okay, I thought something had gone wrong and rinsed them all clean! Still made fantastic little lovely cookies.

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almost 3 years ago hayley.marcus

I'm on a bit of a fig-craze and I made these cookies last night! the batter was delicious, but I found that the cookies came out a little dry or just not as soft/chewy/pudding-like as I would have expected from the name (though still delicious - and keep in mind I have made the glaze yet, that's tonight's activity).
my hunch is I used too much flour while rolling them out, but the dough - especially with the figs - was so sticky! or maybe i made them too thin?
any thoughts? thanks!

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almost 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am glad you posted that AJ - I am making them for XMas and I was thinking about chilling in a log and slicing (because I am lazy) - thoughts? Helen? AJ? Bueller? Oh and I think that milk warm with brandy will be nice to sip on too ...

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

An update: the logs freeze, cut and bake perfectly, but keep in mind that a log sliced and baked does not produce the same cookie as one that is rolled and then cut. I gently press the slices down a bit to eliminate the roughness around the outside edge and to make them a bit thinner, knowing that they rise when baked. I love these cookies, and am including them in the holiday boxes, tins and plates that will be distributed this year. ;o)

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almost 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am glad you posted that AJ - I am making them for XMas and I was thinking about chilling in a log and slicing (because I am lazy) - thoughts? Helen? AJ? Bueller? Oh and I think that milk warm with brandy will be nice to sip on too ...

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

"These cookies are seriously killer," said my son, after tasting some this morning. I agree! Although I chilled the dough overnight, it was too sticky to roll out easily. I heavily floured my work surface, but by the time I'd rolled and cut a dozen, the dough had warmed up to the point where the cookies lost their shape when I rolled them. Perhaps my figs are just juicier than most, or perhaps I soaked them too long. (I started the timer for 15 minutes once the milk had gotten warm.) No matter, though. I rolled the dough into balls, then pressed them down with the bottom of a glass and they turned out fine, though not as pretty as the ones in the photo. But who cares?! These are going into the holiday gift boxes this year!! ;o)

Pamelalee

almost 3 years ago pamelalee

I brought your yummy cookies to a Food52 book signing party today, and everyone loved them! Amanda recognized them right away. I appreciate the tip in the slide show about not worrying when the warm milk curdles. Also, the tip in the testing notes about the wet dough firming up nicely when chilled.

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almost 3 years ago Helenthenanny

hi celliejoe! the "reply" button wasn't working for me, so i hope this reaches you, but yes, i think that would work just fine! let us know how it goes, it sounds like a lovely alternative to the glaze! i hope you enjoy these little cookies, thanks!

Stringio

almost 3 years ago celliejoe

i'm always on the lookout for fig recipes, and this one sounds wonderful. but instead of rolling out the dough, do you think i could use a very small cookie dough scoop, then flatten the mounds with the bottom of a glass dipped in turbinado sugar?

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over 3 years ago mbierlich

I made these for Christmas and I still can't stop thinking about them! Delicious cookies and the brandy sugar glaze is magical!

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over 3 years ago Helenthenanny

thank you SO much! i'm so glad you enjoyed them and i appreciate the feedback!

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over 3 years ago JJGood

These came out fabulous! Extremely wet dough, but with ample flour, they roll out surprisingly well, and the resulting cookies are tender and flavorful.

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over 3 years ago Helenthenanny

Thank you so much, I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Yes, the dough is definitely very wet at first, but I'm so glad it worked out! Thanks again, and happy holidays!

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almost 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The ratio of sugar to butter + 2 T. brandy looks off to me. Usually the sugar-to-liquids ratio is five or even six to one. Dissolving the sugar in the melted butter would reduce the volume of the sugar as well. When I make icing for cookies, I always work backwards, starting with the sugar and then adding the liquid gradually. I've never tried melting butter with sugar in it, though. I would just stir the liquids, carefully, into sifted confectioners sugar to get the right consistency and I wouldn't worry about what the recipe says is the right amount. ;o).

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over 3 years ago Helenthenanny

This was my first recipe that I ever wrote, so I'm not surprised that their are errors (which after a year of being in food52, I'm disappointed to hear that changes need to be made) but I do agree that people should cook and bake the way that they feel comfortable and make their own adjustments as needed. Thanks for the advice!

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almost 4 years ago CAROLYNB

Actually if you look at the way the recipe is posted it calls for 1/2 cup of butter, which is one stick. Are you saying that the recipe should call for 1/2 stick (1/4 cup)?

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over 3 years ago Helenthenanny

Please see my second comment in regards to measurements. To answer your question: no. I don't think my original recipe needs to be changed at all. I'm happy with it, and I'm grateful that it has been so well received.

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almost 4 years ago CAROLYNB

I think there is something wrong with the ingredient amounts in the glaze recipe. it makes a gooey buttery yellow mess that doesn't seem to solidify when cooled. I think the butter amount is way too much. I actually used it as written and it ruined my cookies.

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almost 4 years ago Helenthenanny

hi carolynb! thanks for the constructive criticism! sorry about your messy cookies, that's a bummer. when i make these cookies, the icing is ivory in color and solidifies nicely. this is evident in the photographs i included, and also evident in the photograph that sarah took after amanda and merrill made my cookies. perhaps they altered my recipe, but i don't think so because they usually will mention any changes in their review. could it be possible that perhaps you added one and a half sticks of butter rather than the half stick i called for? that is the only conclusion i could think of that may have caused your 'too yellow, too gooey, too buttery' problem. regardless, thanks again for your lovely comment and happy holidays!

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almost 4 years ago Helenthenanny

oops, sorry, amendment: i call for a half cup of butter, not a half stick, as i mentioned in my previous comment. although, perhaps you made the same mistake as me and threw in sticks of butter and not cups!
sincerely, and happy cooking, helen : )

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over 4 years ago ENunn

Love the looks of these; congrats on your win. What a great idea!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Thank you so much!

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over 4 years ago Cordelia

I just thought that I don't have enough cookie recipes. This one is definitely going into my repertoire. What a neat idea to put figs in cookies. I love figs. I hope you won't mind me trying it with a bit less sugar, assuming the figs are pretty sweet too. You get my vote!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Yahoo!! Thank you for the vote!! I hope you like them : )

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over 4 years ago Allison Cay Parker

Can't wait to try these. You certainly deserve a finalist's spot, and I hope you win the contest. My vote's in! Happy New Year.

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Thank you so much!! Very sweet and I hope so too! Happy New Year!

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over 4 years ago Oui, Chef

I can't think of anything I'd do differently with these, they sound perfect. I can't wait to try them.

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

That is a very nice compliment! Thank you Oui, Chef!

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over 4 years ago meredithhimelfarb

I have such a weakness for iced cookies - great idea!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Ooh, I do too! And they're little cookies so it feels like you could eat about forty or so! Thank you : )

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over 4 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

My, my these sure look yoummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Thank you! Merry Christmas : )

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over 4 years ago Miss Kitty

Brandy Sugar Glaze! -- Oh my! Yummy!
Can't wait to try these cookies at my house!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Yes! I like the brandy sugar glaze! Thank you, and I hope you like them!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

congratulations, sister!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

thanks sis : )

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Oh boy oh boy!! Thank you! What a wonderful Christmas surprise!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mmmm, very nice. Especially for those of us who adore figgy pudding but make it only once, for dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day!! I suspect that these will be a starter in my rotation.

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Thank you! I hope you do make them and I hope you like them!

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almost 5 years ago Culinista Annouchka

These look incredible! I must make them!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Thank you, I hope you do!

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almost 5 years ago candaceb

O bring us some figgy pudding cookies and a cup of good cheer!

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almost 5 years ago Helenthenanny

thank you candace!

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almost 5 years ago erinmonge

These look scrumptious!

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almost 5 years ago Helenthenanny

thank you erin!

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almost 5 years ago arielleclementine

these are so delicious! very clever cookie :)

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almost 5 years ago Helenthenanny

thanks sister : )

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almost 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

These really look great. I'm going to have to make these!

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almost 5 years ago Helenthenanny

thank you! I hope you do and I hope you like them!