1990s Recipes + Menus
Anise-Scented Fig and Date Swirls
This is just one of Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies: 1941-2008. Although we’ve retested the recipes, in the interest of authenticity we’ve left them unchanged: The instructions below are still exactly as they were originally printed.
- 1 cup firmly packed dried figs (as soft as possible)
- 1 cup firmly packed pitted dates
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated refined sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground anise seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup granulated raw sugar (turbinado or Demerara)
In a blender purée figs and dates with water and 2 tablespoons refined sugar. In a bowl, whisk together flour, anise, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter, cream cheese, and remaining 1/2 cup refined sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, yolk, and flour mixture and beat until a dough forms. Form dough into a disk. Chill dough, wrapped in wax paper, 1 hour, or until firm enough to handle.
On a lightly floured sheet of wax paper with a floured rolling pin roll out dough into a 13- by 10- inch rectangle, about 1/3 inch thick. Drop fig mixture by spoonfuls onto dough and gently spread an even layer over dough. Starting with a long side, roll dough jelly-roll fashion into a 13-inch log, using wax paper as a guide. Roll log in raw sugar to coat. Chill log, wrapped in wax paper, 4 hours, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350° F. and lightly butter 2 baking sheets.
Cut log into 1/3-inch-thick rounds and arrange about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until pale golden, about 13 minutes, and transfer to racks to cool. Makes about 36 cookies.