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Fig and Rum Squares

Fig and Rum Squares


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
  • 4 tablespoons dark rum, divided
  • 1 9-ounce package dried black Mission figs, stemmed
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend flour, butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in processor until coarse meal forms. Add 1 tablespoon rum; blend until moist dough forms. Measure 1 cup dough; reserve for topping. Press remaining dough into 11 1/2 x 7 1/2-inch metal baking pan; do not clean processor.

  • Blend figs, orange juice, orange peel, cinnamon, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons rum in processor to coarse paste. Spread filling over crust. Mix sliced almonds into reserved 1 cup dough. Drop topping by small clumps onto filling. Bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Cut lengthwise into 3 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces.

Reviews Section

25 Tasty Fig Recipes to Make the Most Out of Fall's Most Underrated Fruit

Try out these sweet, luscious fruits in delicious apps, desserts and more.

When it comes to the best fruits to add to your recipes, figs are probably the most underrated of the bunch. Not only are these sweet fall fruits delicious, they're also incredibly versatile, adding great flavor to anything from a fresh fall salad to a tasty appetizer dish &mdash not to mention they're simply amazing in jams, pastries and desserts! If you need more ideas on how to incorporate these juicy, flavor-packed bites into your meals, though, we've rounded up some of the best fig recipes here, so you can easily make the most out of these luscious fall fruits when they're in season.

Not sure which recipe to try out first? We've got everything from delicious mains and healthy sides to creative salads, snacks, and finger foods (and don't worry, we didn't forget the essential easy fall dessert recipes, either!). Whether you're enjoying them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these mouthwatering dishes pair figs together with some of the best flavors of the season, like prosciutto, gorgonzola and even cream cheese and gingersnaps. No matter which of these scrumptious dishes you try, you'll definitely be calling figs your new favorite fruit in no time!


Relatives to the mulberry, figs arrived to the Balkans from Turkey. They’ve nourished people in low deserts for centuries, and graced our earliest myths. If there was a story to be told, our ancestors recounted in under the deep shade of a fig tree.

Consume them fresh, make a fruit salad or add them to a meza board. Or you can make fig homemade jams, preserves, or candy.

Figs better baked desserts. Baked or fresh they adorn tops of cakes and tarts drawing in both the eye and tongue with perfect shape and maroon insides.

(We used dried figs before for our no-bake rum fig truffles. Remember?)

Romans bathed them in honey for longer preservation. Its sap is widely used in the meat industry. Like dates, they can be dried and kept for a long time like dates, they pack on a lot of nutrition.

In these parts figs are a part of every naturopath’s arsenal.

Some say smooth fig sap removes warts. (Sap is smeared on the wart once daily for several days.) The claim was taken seriously enough by a researcher who indeed found it beneficial when used for longer periods.

Others treat feet corn by placing a sliced half of a fresh fig directly onto corn several nights in a row.

(A quick tip! A relative allergic to honey complained he hated figs for years. They were “too honey-ish.” It turns out people allergic to honey tend to also have a fig allergy too. So check!)

How to Infuse Bourbon

This recipe is really simple. I used about a cup of dried Mission figs, cut into quarters, and two vanilla beans split down the middle (exposing the seeds and flavor). Take a whiff, it’s Heaven. Let everything steep in a sealed glass container with a fifth of your favorite bourbon for about two weeks for best results. You can add just about any spice or fruit under the moon to add your own flavors.

I tasted every few days to gauge where it was at. Strain using a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter into a new glass container. The bourbon should last several months if stored at room temp in a dark location.

The added fig and vanilla flavor is noticeable but certainly not overpowering. You can experiment by adding additional figs or an extra vanilla bean for bolder flavors.

One final tip, there is no need to use top-shelf bourbon for infusions, in fact I would stress against it. There are several solid brands that are perfect without breaking the bank. Elijah Craig, Makers, Bulleit, and Knob Creek to name a few.


Homemade Fig Newtons

I am just going to say that again. Homemade Fig Newtons are SO much better than any variety of packaged fig cookies. Of course they are. Homemade is always better. Well… perhaps always is a bit too strong. I am a huge advocate of baking from scratch for two reasons: homemade food generally tastes better AND you are in control of all the ingredients.

And yet, I can think of a few store bought items that have completely stollen my heart. Taleni Gelato, for one. Especially when folded into ice cream sundae crepes. (OMG. I need to stop writing this and go make those right now.)

Puff Pastry is another. I have actually made puff pastry from scratch and let me tell you – it is WAY too much work and tastes pretty much exactly the same as the store bought variety. Store bought puff pastry makes elegant, complicated looking desserts like the Napoleon Dessert actually quite quick and easy. I typically always have a package in my freezer.

The other store bought treat I really love is Fig Newtons. Or… I should say loved. Past tense. Because, I made homemade Fig Newtons this week and I like them much, much more. In fact, aside from gas station motorcycle road trip stops, where we stock up on cliff bars, fig newtons and beef jerky (energy, protein and won’t melt), I can’t imagine I’ll ever buy packaged fig newtons again.

In a lot of ways, Fig Cookies don’t sound like much of a treat.

To be honest, fig cookies don’t sound like something I’d normally want to eat. I don’t know why. Something about the name. I like figs and I certainly like cookies. But something about the name “fig cookies” makes me think that they will have an artificial candied fruit kind of taste like… fruitcake. Blech.

When I think of figs, I think about adding them to a salad or using them to create a dinner party appetizer. Goat cheese stuffed figs topped with pancetta? Yes, please. Fig cookies? Ummmmm…. maybe some other time.

Here’s the other thing: I generally want cake to taste like cake and cookies to taste like cookies. And fig cookies in general, Fig Newtons included, are really small fruit filled cakes. We call them cookies, but they’re totally not.

And yet, with all these objections, I think fig cookies are amazing. Fig Newtons are one of the only store bought cookies I truly love. I love that the “cookie” part is not too sweet, allowing the fig filling to take center stage. I also like how substantial the filling is – so different from cookies that include dried fruit or are filled with jam. And, the subtle orange flavor in the background adds a delicious bright complexity.

But you know what I really love about homemade Fig Newtons? They are just as much a breakfast or energy snack as they are a dessert. They’re awesome little multitaskers.

I’m not going to assert that these fig cookies are health food. Except… they kind of are. Figs are really, really good for you, and each one of these homemade Fig Newtons contains a pretty high fig to cookie ratio. They are also fairly low sugar and fairly high fiber.

The low down on these Homemade Fig Bars.

Ok. Homemade Fig Newtons are not nearly as complicated and time consuming as a gorgeous peaches and cream layer cake, homemade croissants, or any number of other baked goods that come with a hefty investment of your time (even if they are totally worth it). But, they will take more time than say, chocolate chip cookies. No big deal. It’s not difficult to make homemade Fig Newtons. I just want you to know that they’ll take a bit more time than your average cookie so you can plan for it. Also, there are a few important things you should know about making great homemade Fig Newtons before you begin. Such as…

1. It’s really, really important to allow the dough enough time to chill in the refrigerator before you assemble and bake these fig cookies. The first time I made these, I got a bit impatient and didn’t allow the dough enough time to chill. The dough spread out while baking, creating the strangest looking homemade Fig Newtons you’ve ever seen. Oh, calamity.

The dough needs to hang out in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours – and preferably overnight. In many ways, this makes life easier because you can make the dough ahead of time. Just wrap it up and let it sit in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake the Fig Newtons the next day.

2. Even after chilling the dough for a long time, it will still stick to the counter as you roll it out if you don’t use a generous dusting of flour. Dust your countertop generously with flour and sprinkle some more on the top of the dough. It’s also important to make sure there is enough dough to wrap around the filling completely.

Here’s how to do that: Roll the dough into a rectangle that’s about 11 inches long by 13 inches wide and about 1/4 inch thick. Trim the edges so that you have a clean rectangle shape. Then, use a ruler to cut strips that are 3 1/2 inches wide. Pipe the fig filling down the center of each strip of dough.

Fold one of the long sides of dough up and over the filling, then fold the other long side of dough up and over the filling, making sure to overlap the edges about 1/4 of an inch. Like this:

At this point, you’ll have three logs of fig filled dough. Press the long seam gently with your fingers to seal and gently lift them onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Press the ends to seal those too.

3. The last thing I want to mention is that you’ll notice that this homemade fig newton recipe instructs you to put the freshly baked fig cookies into an airtight container while they are still warm and let them hang out in there for about 30 minutes. This allows the cookies to steam. It’s kind of like letting them relax in a steam room. Ahhhhhh…… Such pampered little cookies. This is what gives them that soft, cakey consistency.

Now. Enough talking. Time to bake cookies.

More Popular Cookie Recipes:

If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.

Hermit Cookies Recipe & Video

It's so easy to like Hermit Cookies, with their soft and chewy texture, their spicy flavor, and how they're loaded with raisins, dates, and nuts. The general consensus is that Hermit Cookies were so named because of how long they can be stored. This old fashioned 19th century cookie must have quite a few fans because on the American Food Holidays' calendar November 15th is National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day.

Hermit Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly butter or line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

In a separate bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add this mixture to the batter and beat until combined. Fold in the raisins, chopped dates, and chopped walnuts.

To form each cookie, drop about one tablespoonful of the batter onto your baking sheet, spacing the cookies about two inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are firm around the edges but still a little soft in the center. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before frosting.

Glaze: In a small bowl stir together the sugar and enough milk (cream) to make a smooth, thick, yet pourable glaze. Once the cookies are completely cool, use a small spoon to drizzle several thin lines of the glaze over each cookie. Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the glaze has completely dried.

The cookies can be stored at room temperature for about five days, or they can be frozen.

Chocolate, fig and rum mattonella

We are extremely proud of the fact that unlike many cookery sites, we test all of our published recipes.

The author of this recipe feels that it needs improving before it can be considered complete.

Do feel free to use it for inspiration but be aware that it may not yet be perfect.

This recipe needs advance preparation!

Mattonella (Italian for 'brick') is a chilled, Italian dessert which comes in many forms. It is quite rich and it is often 'set' in a loaf tin to give it a brick shape. This version with figs, is particularly suitable at Christmas time.


  • 100g driedfigs, stalks removed
  • 100ml Dark rum (or enough to cover the figs)
  • 250g dark chocolate, broken into small squares
  • 125g dark sugar
  • 50g of butter
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 125g plain or spiced biscuits, coarsely chopped

To finish


  1. Place the figs in a bowl and add enough rum to cover (see Variations below)
  2. Leave for at least 30 minutes to marinate.
  3. Drain thoroughly, chop into small pieces and reserve.
  4. In a fresh bowl, over a saucepan of water, melt the chocolate with the sugar and butter.
  5. Remove from the heat, add the cream, figs and biscuits.
  6. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin which had been lined with foil or Bake-O-Glide.
  7. Smooth it out and refrigerate for several hours.
  8. Just before serving, cut the Mattonella into slices and put 2 slices on each plate.
  9. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and pipe some shapes onto the plates.
  10. Sprinkle the cream with a little ground cinnamon or cocoa powder.

Chef's notes

I used a 500g loaf tin with a volume of about 800ml. This tin could have taken half the mixture quantity again. A 250g tin was too small.

Recipe source

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#figs #cream #groundcinnamon #whippingcream #chocolatefigandrummattonella #butter #icingsugar #darkchocolate #dessert #foil #rum

Figmented Brownies

Big Boy, our resident wordsmith, will occasionally stop me mid-sentence with, “No, that didn’t happen, you figmented it”.

It’s a clever, if (currently) incorrect use of the noun, but it’s actually very appropriate when applied to these brownies. They were indeed a figment of my imagination, or more precisely, my dreams – I woke one morning thinking about figs, rum and dark, dark chocolate. This is what I ended up with…

Fig, Rum and Cacao Nib Brownies
(adapted from a recipe in David Lebovitz’ Ready for Dessert)

  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 225g dark chocolate, chopped or in callets
  • 150g white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used homemade)
  • 2 large (59g) eggs, at room temperature
  • 40g plain (AP) flour
  • 150g Turkish figs, soaked in rum (see below)
  • 40g cacao nibs

Note: I made these with 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate, but the basic brownie recipe works best with semisweet (I normally use Callebaut 811 with 54% cacao). With the higher cocoa fat content, the batter has a tendency to split, resulting in a pool of oil on the top of the finished brownies. 70% seems to hold together – just – but when I tried using a 75%, the mix split completely and had to be thrown away. Having said that, in this instance I really wanted a bittersweet chocolate to offset the figs…

1. The night before, place some Turkish figs in a clean jar, and top it up with rum. You’ll need seven or eight well-intoxicated figs, although I try and keep a jar full at all times (for emergencies, you understand).

2. Preheat the oven to 160C with fan. Line a 20cm square pan with parchment paper. Chop the figs up, discarding the stems.

3. In a medium saucepan, soften the butter, then add the chocolate and stir over low heat until combined and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a silicon spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the sugar and vanilla.

4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, working quickly so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. Add the flour, and stir vigorously for one minute (this bit is important) – the mixture will change from grainy to smooth and glossy in that time.

5. Add in the chopped figs and cacao nibs, stirring well. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until just set – about 25 minutes. Do not overbake.

6. Cool in the pan, before removing the brownies and cutting into squares for serving.

This recipe is adapted from Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies in David Lebovitz’ new Ready for Dessert. Like all of his books, this one is a cracker – full of anecdotes and delicious recipes. I’m keen to try the chocolate cake recipe that he copied off the wall of a restaurant toilet…

Italian Cookie Recipes

W ant to know the secret in making the best Italian cookie recipes? NOTHING! It's not that tough - because there is no big secret! All you need is some basic fresh ingredients. And of course, the ability to not only read - but follow the step by step instructions.

We use the several basic ingredients over and over. Once you realize how simple it is you will NEVER want to purchase an Italian-pretender-cookie from a franchised bakery or market again!

W hat do you need to make true Italian cookies?

W e use almond flavoring more than vanilla flavoring. And the big one that may seem foreign - anise extract or anise flavoring. (Anise is the flavoring that is similar to licorice - you may know it best in the traditional Italian biscotti.)

A ll of these main ingredients can be found your *normal* supermarket and picked up in your regular shopping trip! Good news, huh? No specialty shopping required!

B elow is a photo gallery of all the Italian Cookie Recipes I have on my site. If you hover over the pictures you will see a description.

I have many drop cookie recipe (you know where you literally drop the cookie dough on the cookie sheet). These are the Italian cookie recipes take no time to refrigerate or press into a molded shape. Just plop, drop, and clean up. These are great to do with kids.

T hen there is a set of cookie bar recipes. These are the one that are pressed into a pan - like brownies. They aren't dropped. And you don't get to shape them into circles or stars. You just press them up to the edge of the pan.

N ext to last of the type of cookie recipes I have are rolled cookie recipes. This is where the dough is refrigerated and then cut. BUT several call for the dough to be rolled in balls and either stay in balls or flatten with a glass. In other words, they aren't a drop cookie recipe and they aren't like like brownies (cookie bar recipes).

A nd then last, Easy To Make Cookies. These cookies are quick, easy and the ingredients can be found in a *normal* supermarket. These are the cookie recipes that shouldn't take more than 60 minutes from start to finish (and that includes clean up!) It's for those who gotta make cookies NOW!

Homemade Fig Newtons

  • 1 pint fresh or preserved figs or 12 ounces dried figs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

Fresh figs: Remove stems and boil figs with a cinnamon stick and 2 cups of sugar in 1 cup of water for 45 minutes. Drain and cool.

Dried figs: In a bowl, pour boiling water over figs (stems removed) and let rest 10 minutes. Drain all but 2 tablespoons water and stir in 2 tablespoons corn syrup + ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.

Preserved figs: Drain syrup.

Puree figs in food processor until a thick paste forms (if too thick or thin to spread evenly, add a little water or flour until spreadable consistency is reached).

Combine flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.

Add egg, vanilla, orange juice and combined dry ingredients to bowl and mix until dough forms.

Roll dough out on a floured surface into a 8”x14” rectangle about ¼” thick.

Cut rectangle in half lengthwise.

Spread fig paste onto half of each rectangle, lengthwise.

Fold dough in half lengthwise to cover fig paste and pinch edges to seal.

Watch the video: Gordon Ramsays Granola Recipe (November 2021).