Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Not your average slice-n-bake cookies!

Before we left for this Des Moines trip, I wanted to bring along a snack that would hold up well through the plane ride and still be good for a few days after they were made. Cookies are pretty sturdy and I wanted something a little different, so I made these fun Anise-Scented Fig and Date Swirls.

These beautiful spiraled cookies take a few extra steps to make and need a few extra hours to chill out in the refrigerator, but the dough will hold for a couple days before you need to bake them. Instead of an all-butter cookie, this dough is cut with a bit of cream cheese - so the cookies bake into very tender, but still firm morsels. The dough sings with a light licorice aroma from the use of freshly ground anise seeds that are mixed into the dry ingredients. The shadowy swirls inside the blonde cookie are a sweet puree of dried figs, dates, water and a bit of granulated sugar. This mixture is fairly thick, so try and be gentle when you spread it over the rolled out dough so it does not tear. If you find it takes you awhile to get the dough rolled out and filled, it may have had a chance to soften quite a bit - you may want to slide it back into the refrigerator for a few minutes. This will give it a chance to firm back up and it will be easier to roll into a log.

Once rolled up, the dough is then coated in a generous amount of chunky turbinado sugar for an extra crunch to the outside. The dough now needs to chill for around 4 hours so it has a chance to get fairly firm - you don't want it to squish when you go to cut it into rounds. After the logs are formed and wrapped in plastic wrap, I like to put them in a long paper towel tube that has been split down the middle - I've been doing this for a few years now and it helps the dough keep its circular shape. One more tip - if you give the dough a quarter turn each time you cut off a cookie, this will also help keep the dough round. I baked these cookies last Friday and they are still just as good as the day they were baked; however, they have softened just a little. We both thought these were kind of like a fig newton spiked a mild licorice flavor - so these may not be for everyone. I will definitely be putting these delicious gems on the list for this year's Christmas baking spree - they have a stunning appearance and can be easily put together in stages during that busy time of the year.


  1. Those turned out beautifully!

  2. Every time I make rolled cookies, the rolls seperate after baking. Do you know why that happens or how I can avoid it?

  3. Awesome cookies! these are my kinda cookies,Thanks for the pics.

  4. Oooh! My dad loves fig cookies. I'll have to make these when he comes out in April. Thanks!

  5. Gemma - Thank you!

    Tanya - Hmm, I've not had that issue - I guess it depending on what your filling them with. This was fairly sticky so it was easy for them to stay together. Are you rolling them tight enough?

    Lera - Thanks!

    Three Sisters - I hope you give the recipe a try!

  6. Made these without the anise, they were yummy Joe, note I said 'were' I need to make more!

  7. Loulee - Glad to hear they were good without the anise too! Thanks for the feedback!

  8. Hi Joe,
    How many cookies does the Anise-Scented Fig and Date Swirls recipe yield?


  9. Hi Jane - I believe we got somewhere between 36 and 42 cookies if I remember correctly!