Friday, August 14, 2009

Blue Cheese Cookies with Fresh Fig Jam

Now we all know that fresh fruit and good cheese can make a fabulous dessert. And we all know how great figs and blue cheese are together. With fig season in full bloom, I’ve been wanting to make some figgy type cookies. There are so many incredible things to do with figs, but I thought a simple blue cheese cookie that is a little savory with a balance of sugar and salt would be great to pair with a simple fresh fig jam. An obvious but nonetheless delicious thought. It’s similar to the approach I took with my Fig & Goat Cheese Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, which I highly recommend. But this time I decided to bake the cheese into the cookie. It’s a fun alternative to every day cookies and reinforces the cheese and fruit dessert loveliness.

Use your favorite blue cheese in this cookie. It should be fairly assertive to stand up to the fig jam. And although I haven’t tried it, I think these sandwich cookies would go well on a lazy sunny afternoon patio with a nice petite syrah or a chilled Semillon or Monbazillac.

Bench notes:

- Substitute a mild honey for the sugar in the Fig Jam if you’d like. I also sometimes add a few fresh raspberries.
- Cook the fruit slowly on very low heat to preserve the full flavor. Use a splash of fresh lemon juice to perk up fruit if the taste seems a little flat.
- The next time I make these I would definitely press some finely chopped walnuts into the surface of the cookie.
- The cookies would probably also taste great with cherries poached in port or poached pears and walnuts.
- The cookies without the filling can be kept in an airtight container. I highly recommend waiting until the next day to serve them. I think it gives the cookie a chance to meld all the flavors together beautifully. Once you fill them with the jam, they will soften.
- Other great fig desserts and pastries to create now are A Provençal Sundae, Fresh Fig Raspberry Galette and Panna Cotta with Fig Compote and Orange Granite.

Blue Cheese Cookies with Fresh Fig Jam
Makes about 24 2” cookies or 12 sandwich cookies

Blue Cheese Cookies

6 oz blue cheese, softened
4 oz butter, softened
1/4 C + 2 T granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 C flour

Blend blue cheese, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor until creamy. Add flour and pulse until mixture just starts to come together and forms a clump. Gather dough and place on a piece of plastic. Flatten into a disk and place another piece of plastic over the top. Roll out the dough between the two sheets of plastic to about 1/4” thickness. Slide the dough in the plastic onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and gently lift off the top sheet of plastic. Use a 2” cookie cutter or a sharp knife to cut out cookies. Transfer to the baking sheets. You want the dough to remain cold, so work quickly.

Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden, rotating baking pans halfway through. Cool on a wire rack. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.

Fresh Fig Jam

1 pint of fresh figs
2 – 3 T water
1 - 2 T sugar, to taste

Chop the figs and place in a saucepan with the water and sugar. Cook on low heat until the figs are soft and juicy, stirring to prevent scorching. Add a bit more water if necessary as it cooks and taste to adjust sugar. Pull off the heat and cool.

Assemble the cookies and serve immediately.


Sam@BingeNYC said...

Oh. My. Goodness. These look so, so good. Brilliant.

vanillasugarblog said...

taste sensation alert! I am so making these little gems.

David said...

Having worked as a pastry chef for several years, I'm embareassed to admit I've development an unfortunate dislike to dessert.

Thanks for this brilliant (and kind of obvious, now that I think about it) dessert.

test it comm said...

Blue cheese cookies sound so good! Filling them with a fresh fig jam sounds even better!

Valérie-jeanne said...

What in interesting flavor combination, again! The fig and goat cheese cookies look delicious as well. I have to admit, I'd never eaten a fresh fig until last year. Better late than never.

Anonymous said...

Okay, you are a God. Or maybe a Goddess. Whatever you are you rock. These are genius and I can't wait to make them. Hummmmmm, when is the next opportunity going to be?

Unknown said...
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Bryan said...

what an addictive, odd little cookie. i'll wait to see how they taste after a day.
the texture of mine are rather soft, pleasantly so, but softish. i mean the color is incredible, so golden from the cheese-- the bottom and edges are just-crisp.
but i wonder if i incorporated too much air while creaming the butter, cheese, and sugar.

are you combining the ingredients like a short dough or do you want to incorporate air during the creaming?

pastry studio said...

Hello everyone. Love your receptive comments. It's so fun to hear that people might enjoy my goofy little experiments.

GooberNgrape, what a perfect way to describe this cookie - odd yet addictive. You are basically creating a shortbread, so don't want the air. You want creamy but not fluffy. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. But they will turn soft if you fill them with the jam and store any of the plain cookies with any of the filled ones.

I'm also wondering about the fat content of different blue cheeses and how that might affect the texture. The other thing that some people do is replace some of the flour with cornstarch for a crispier cookie. I didn't do that here because I think it affects the taste on my palate in a way that I personally do not prefer, but you could try that to see if you find it works better for you.

Jesse said...

How funny - I just finished a blue cheese and fig scone! These look fantastic!

Anonymous said...

These cookies look fantastic. How far in advance can you bake the cookies before filling and serving them?


pastry studio said...

The cookies can be baked a couple of days ahead if kept in an airtight container. In fact I think they taste better the next day. Once they are filled, they should be eaten because the cookies become soft if they sit too long after being filled with the jam.


chala said...

I am intrigued!!!... as so many times before..
I just made a batch of fig jam with rosemary and balsamic vinegar , to combine with cheese, but these sound even better....
thanks for this great idea!!!

pastry studio said...

chala, your jam sounds divine! I hope you get a chance to enjoy these.