Cast Iron

Pig Newtons

November 25, 2014
0 Ratings
Photo by Alan Berger
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This grown up version of the beloved cookie makes a great cocktail snack —Kathy Gori

What You'll Need
  • The Filling
  • 1 pound Applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 onion. chopped
  • 1 pound fresh figs
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ,aple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kashmiri chili
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • a few grinds black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • The Savory Shortbread Wrap
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  1. The Filling
  2. Wash, dry, and quarter the figs. Set them aside.
  3. Chop the onion and set it aside.
  4. Chop your bacon into small pieces.
  5. Place a cast iron pan on the fire. When it's hot, add in the chopped bacon.
  6. Render the bacon down
  7. Scoop the rendered crispy bacon onto a plate covered with a paper towel to blot up the grease. Take the hot bacon fat in the skillet and save 2 Tbs of it. Pour the rest of it off for use another time.
  8. Pour the 2 Tbs of bacon grease back into the pan.
  9. Add in your chopped onion.
  10. Saute the onions until they turn soft. Now add the quartered figs into the pan.
  11. Stir them around and add in the brown sugar......the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and water.
  12. Add in the ginger, chili, and the rest of the spices.
  13. Finally, add in the crispy bacon pieces.
  14. Stir everything around. Bring the mixture to a boil then turn the heat down and simmer the bacon fig jam for about 1 hour. The jam is done when it thickens and turns dark. Take the jam off the flame and let it cool a bit. Move it to a food processor and grind it to a thick jammy texture. Now, set it aside (it'll keep in the fridge in an air tight container for about 2 weeks) and make your cookies whenever you want.
  1. The Savory Shortbread Wrap
  2. This cookie dough can also be made a few days ahead. Bring 1 stick of unsalted butter to room temperature Cut it into pieces, set it aside.
  3. Measure out 3 oz of grated Parmesan, set it aside.
  4. Chop the sage and thyme and set them aside.
  5. Put the butter into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, turn it to low and blend it until the butter is creamy. When it's creamy add in the Parmesan cheese, salt, sage, and thyme.
  6. Add in the flour.
  7. Add each of these one at a time until each one is thoroughly blended in.
  8. Finally add in the water to help the dough stick together. I usually wind up adding in 3 Tbs, but go one at a time until it's the texture you need. Take the dough out of the bowl and shape it into a round.
  9. Flatten the round.
  10. Wrap in in plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes. You can make the dough ahead of time also. It'll harden up in the fridge so let it soften a bit before you work with it if you leave it there for very long.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough about 1/4 inch thick.
  12. When the dough is rolled out, square it off, and cut it into wide strips.
  13. Spread some bacon jam down the center of each strip.
  14. Fold one half of the strip over the jam.
  15. Then fold the other side over.
  16. Flip the roll to the unfolded side, and cut them into bite sized Pig Newtons.
  17. Place the pig newtons on a silicone mat on a baking sheet, or just parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Once made they can be stored in the fridge like this for a few hours before baking. Just cover them lightly with cling film. Of course you can also bake and eat them right away! Put them into your 350 degree oven.
  18. Bake them for about 25 minutes. Ah, the siren smell of bacon....
  19. Serve them piping hot.

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