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Fig Cookies

Yield 30 cookies
This recipe is from Shauna James Ahern's book Gluten-Free Girl. Copyright 2007 by Shauna James Ahern. All Rights Reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • Fig Spread (to be made at least 24 hours in advance of the cookies)
  • 1/2 pound of dried figs (I use light brown Calimyrna and dark Mission figs)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup port
  • 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (or 1/4 cup lemon juice with 1 tablespoon sugar)
  • Fig Cookie Dough
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (this is key, because it has a granular consistency)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons molasses

How to Make It

  1. Preparing the fig spread. Chop the figs into quarters. Put the pieces into a large bowl and cover with the liquids. Soak the figs for at least 24 hours. Before you make the cookies, drain the figs of the liquid, except for a few tablespoons. Put the figs and remaining liquid in a food processor and blend to make a thick paste, somewhat like a tapenade consistency.

  2. Preparing the cookie dough. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  3. Combining the dry ingredients. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Set aside.

  4. Creaming the butter and sugar. Put the softened butter into a mixer (if you don't have a stand mixer, you really should splurge on one. It makes all the difference in the world). Add the brown sugar and organic cane sugar to the butter and cream together. Cream only until well blended, then turn off the mixer.

  5. Finishing the dough. Add the egg, vanilla, and molasses. Mix until just blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly blended.

  6. Refrigerating the dough. Refrigerate the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This is key with gluten-free doughs.

  7. Rolling out the dough. After you have chilled the dough, roll out half the dough to a 1-inch thickness. (Be sure to flour the board with gluten-free flour and be patient. Gluten-free dough can be hard to roll.) Lay this dough onto a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper or a Silpat. Slather the fig spread over the surface of the dough, stopping about one inch from the edges. Roll out the rest of the dough and lay it over the fig spread. Crimp the edges to seal in the fig spread.

  8. Baking the cookies. Slide the baking sheet into the oven for 15 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the cookies aren't browning too much. Take the cookies out of the oven when they are firm to the touch and just starting to brown. Let them cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

  9. Cutting the cookies. When the cookies have cooled slightly, cut the edges off to make even lines. (Don't throw them away! These are delicious, too.) Slice the giant cookie into small squares, and they will look like those fig cookies of your youth.

Gluten-Free Girl, Copyright 2007 by Shauna James Ahern. All Rights Reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.