Figgy Pudding Butter Cookies

December 17, 2009

Test Kitchen-Approved

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&MThe Editors

Serves: 3 dozen small cookies
Prep time: 3 hrs
Cook time: 45 min


For the cookies

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (from one orange)
  • 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 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg

For the brandy glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In This Recipe


  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!

More Great Recipes:
Cookie|American|Fig|Fruit|Milk/Cream|Nutmeg|Brandy|Butter|Serves a Crowd|Make Ahead|Bake|Christmas Eve

Reviews (70) Questions (3)

70 Reviews

Renee D. December 7, 2016
Used apple brandy in the glaze and almost licked the drippings off the counter it was so yummy. Next up: convert to gluten-free.
Mae March 31, 2016
Any suggestions for what to use instead of brandy for the glaze? I'd prefer not to buy an entire bottle just for that :-/
JJGood March 31, 2016
Rum or whiskey would also be good, I think!
Renee G. April 13, 2016
Many stores sell small ( airplane sized) bottles of liquor.
Beverly C. January 19, 2014
I am not a baker but these sound delicious. I have a surplus of dates and wonder if they could be substituted for figs?
Sarah|PickledCapers December 17, 2013
These would certainly be worth caroling interminably. The brandy-glaze itself would have me singing at top volume.
jevyn December 16, 2013
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!
celliejoe December 14, 2013
i use faretti biscotti liqueur for the glaze and it's wonderful.
yomabes December 13, 2013
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.
JJGood December 11, 2013
FYI, my family (that is, my parents and sister) will no longer let me not make these at Christmas.
Diana December 3, 2013
fresh figs will be fine, shopped them up...
kellee December 2, 2013
Do you think this recipe would work with mission figs? I have those on hand.
celliejoe December 2, 2013
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!
Trudy M. December 1, 2013
What suggestion do you have for using the figgy milk? Seems too good to toss.
ChefJune October 11, 2013
hmmm I use a similar glaze on my "plain" pound cake.
ChefJune October 11, 2013
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.
Cena January 17, 2013
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!
GramercyGal December 18, 2012
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!
Renee G. April 13, 2016
LOL! What was 1st prize?
QueenOfGreen December 16, 2011
The family is only getting about half of these. Because, um, seems I must have eaten the other half!
lunarmoth December 14, 2011
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.
hayley.marcus December 10, 2011
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). <br />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? <br /> any thoughts? thanks!
aargersi December 4, 2011
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 ...
AntoniaJames December 5, 2011
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)