How does such sexy looking batter turn into something so ugly?
Smooth, luscious and velvety; it was the kind of batter that if proper restraint had not been exercised you would probably want to smear the stuff all over your face. Perhaps it’s just me and my odd fixation with batters that I could not resign myself to the fact that the fate of this exquisite batter would somewhat be, less than pretty. All I wanted was for them to grow up to be beautiful cookies, but alas it didn’t turn out that way and rather it is the butterfly that turns into the caterpillar.
This may all seem rather superficial, but are we not talking about food? If there is one thing I am going to get fickle about it is going to concern the appearance of food. If I can’t judge food by the way it looks then what kind of politically correct world do we now live in? You can harp on about how it’s not all about appearances and that it’s all about what’s on the inside that counts, but there’s enough of that malarky in the world for us not to be honest when it comes to food. I think if food looks bad then there is less chance that you will want to put it in your mouth.
I am probably going off the tangent here, and undesirable looking food could well be a whole other post. But the good news for these cookies is that their story does not end badly at all. Their tale is a little like the one of the frumpy housewife who used to be the pretty cheerleader in high school who goes to Ricki Lake seeking makeover help. In this case it is I that plays the role of Ricki, lucky me.
In its heyday the batter was as irresistible as ever, nothing could go wrong, everything was peachy. Although a stint in the oven quickly leaves it dry, lacklustre and jaded. Luckily I (Ricki) and my team of experts came upon a stroke of genius to dress up these unsightly Fig Cookies and transform them into the Fig and Almond Honey Cookies (or Cakes) that you are now beholding. It’s a classic Cinderella story if there ever was one.
These cookies were meant for my mother and Aunt’s dinner party, so understandably there was no way they were going to the party all plain-Jane and unadorned. So with a quick wave of the magic wand, some honey syrup and a sprinkling of slivered almonds later, these plain cookies were transformed into something worthy of a dinner party. A collective sigh of relief is breathed by everyone, as that we all had very high expectations on how the cookies would turn out after baking. Lastly an important lesson is learned by all, that you cannot judge a cookie by its batter.
Fig and Almond Honey Cookies
(makes about 24 cakes)
2 cups plain all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp yoghurt
½ cup honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup dried figs, chopped roughly
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift flour and baking soda into a bowl.
In another bowl, combine butter, cinnamon and lemon zest,
In a small bowl, whisk together egg, yoghurt, honey and lemon juice.
Add the wet mixture to the flour and mix until incorporated.
Fold in chopped figs.
Drop two tablespoon mounds of batter into the prepared baking sheet approximately 5 cm apart.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the cookies have become a golden brown colour.
Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
FOR THE ALMOND COATING
½ cup honey
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 cup slivered almonds
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir in honey and caster sugar until all the sugar dissolves and becomes syrupy.
Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool.
Dip cookies into honey syrup and then top with slivered almonds.
Place cookies in cupcake liners.