Fig, Lemon, Olive, & Rosemary Cookies
Makes 16 (2 1/2” bar cookies)
These cookies are sweet and salty, with olives and rosemary adding slight hints of bitterness to balance figs’ sweetness. They’re particularly good served with a glass of Chardonnay, which unlocks the cookies’ flavors, and benefits both the wine and the dessert. Steven dubbed Fig, Lemon, Olive, and Rosemary Cookies “the ultimate Napa snack.” He meant it in a good way. I used Baked Kalamata Olives from Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska for the cookies; the recipe is found here. Any dry-cured olives or olives cured in salt can be used; their flavor is concentrated by the curing process. Don’t use brined or canned olives in the cookies; their flavor won’t work for dessert.
1/3 cup baked Kalamata or dry-cured olives (don’t use brined Kalamatas)
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into 3/4” pieces
3/4 pound figs
1 tsp. minced rosemary
2 Tbsp. crystallized or granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Rinse and dry olives. Mince olives.
Put lemon peel, sugar, and cornstarch in food processor, and process until ingredients are well mixed. Add flour and process again. Add cold butter and process in short pulses until mixture resembles cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain. Add egg and process in short pulses until egg is well incorporated into dough. Pour mixture into bowl, add minced olives, and toss until olives are evenly distributed.
Line 10×10” square pan with foil, leaving overhanging edges of foil on two sides of pan. Lightly grease bottom and sides of foil with butter (the used wrapper from stick of butter works well for this). Evenly press dough into foil-lined pan.
Slice figs into 1/4” slices and arrange on top of dough. Mix minced rosemary and crystallized sugar, and sprinkle over figs. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is set in center and lightly browned around edges.
Let cookies cool in pan on wire rack. When cool, grasp overhanging edges of foil and lift cookies out of pan. Cut into 1 1/2″ to 2 1/2” squares, and serve.