Fig Cookies

Once again, we have had an abundance of figs on our fig tree! I thought that we had a lot last year, but I think that we have even more this summer. I have a bunch in the freezer to use in smoothies; we have dehydrated quite a few pounds; the hubby has been eating them fresh; we have sold some; and we have given some away. And I still have several pounds in the fridge!

A friend shared this recipe on Pinterest the other day, and I thought that it sounded pretty good. I don’t necessarily eat Paleo, but this recipe is very good. I tried making fig cookies several years ago, but I struggled with getting the cookie just right. This recipe is better, but still a little crumbly. Next time I might use some oat flour with the almond flour.The flavor of the fig filling is amazing! I really like it since there is no added sugar!

Mine didn’t turn out looking as pretty as hers did, but I think that it is because I should have used more figs. The recipe calls for 10 ounces of dried figs. I didn’t weigh the figs, so I probably didn’t use enough. All my figs were fresh, so I dried some in my dehydrator for about 2 hours. That process took out most of the moisture without making them too dry.

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Figs, Figs, and More Figs!

After going through a dry spell this summer, we started getting some much needed rain in the last two weeks or so. The hubby put up a new rain gauge, and it is finally getting some use! This is what it showed this morning–our rain amount for the last 7 days!

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If you look carefully (I know it isn’t the best picture!) you will see the level up above 4″. Over half of this fell during a 2-hour time span yesterday afternoon!

While we’ve been getting rain, the temperatures have stayed on the high side, so it still feels icky sticky outside once the rain stops. It has been perfect for our figs! This year only one of our fig trees has produced figs, but it has R E A L L Y produced!! We are approaching the 30-pound mark! Yes, you read that right! One tree has given us almost 30 pounds of figs, and it isn’t finished yet.

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We have eaten fresh figs (well, the hubby and Ben have). We have frozen them, dehydrated them, sold some and given some away. Over the weekend I made a Fig-Strawberry butter which was amazing! And today, my kitchen come-on is a wonderful smell of Peach-Fig butter currently in the crock-pot!

A friend shared the recipe for Fig Butter which I also found here. I didn’t have any white grape juice on hand, but I did have regular grape juice. I used a mix of grape juice and water. I also used about 4 cups figs and 2 cups strawberries to make up the 6 cups of figs. It was amazing!

I am using the same recipe today except that I have used half figs and half peaches to equal the 6 cups. I also used half cup lemon juice plus 1/4 c. water in place of the white grape juice.

I hope it tastes as good as it smells!

Blueberry-Fig Sour Cream Pound Cake

When I came to the blog earlier today, I realized that I am just 421 views short of what I had set for my year-end goal! Several months ago I decided that through new posts and sharing of the blog, I would set 15,000 views as the goal to reach by the end of 2014.  Thanks to all those who have recently viewed this post, that goal will probably be surpassed by the end of September!!  Last weekend I was privileged to help as part of the Blue Shirt Army during matriculation day at The Citadel.  I enjoyed getting to encourage and help new parents whose children have chosen the road less traveled for their college career.  Many of them have viewed the post so that they can better send care packages to their knobs!  Here I am with my cadet. I can’t believe that he is now a senior!!! It seems like just yesterday that he was a scared knob and I was the one being encouraged by others in the Blue Shirt Army!

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Last week I was asked to make a pound cake for a ladies gathering at our church.  I’ve not made many pound cakes…not at all.  I figured it couldn’t be too hard, but I would need a recipe.  I got out my recently-acquired Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and found a recipe that I could work with.  As you know, I almost always change up recipes!!  We have figs coming in now and blueberries in the freezer…the perfect combination for a delicious cake!   I will put (*) beside the ingredients that I added to the original recipe.

1/2 c. butter

3 eggs

1/2 c. sour cream

1-1/2 c. flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

*1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

*1/2 c. crushed figs

*1/2 c. blueberries

Bring the butter, eggs, and sour cream to room temperature. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium size bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar, beating about 10 minutes or until very light and fluffy. (I used my stand mixer and did indeed beat the mixture for 10 minutes.) Add vanilla and lemon juice.  Add eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition and scraping the bowl often.

Add flour mixture and sour cream to egg mixture alternately, beating on low to medium speed after each addition just until combined.  Stir together the crushed figs and the blueberries.  Gently fold fruit into the cake batter.  Pour into a greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.  Serves 10.

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Blueberry-Fig Upside-Down Cake

A very dear friend gave me a magazine the other day after she had finished with it.  It is loaded with some pretty amazing recipes!  One section of the magazine has 8 recipes for figs!  I was excited to see this, for we will soon have quite an abundance of this particular fruit.  As most of you know, I usually do not follow recipes exactly, but experiment with them to make them unique.  This one is no different.  It turned out pretty well even though I did have a minor fail with it.  I have now learned that it is not a good idea to use a spring-form pan when making an upside-down cake!  The recipe called for a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch high sides.  My cake pan is not that high, so without much thought at all, I figured that my spring-form pan would work…bad idea!!  Some of the butter and brown sugar leaked out of the pan!  Thankfully I had put the pan on a round pizza pan while it baked, so the mess did not go all over my oven!  The cake tasted very good, but would have been much moister if I hadn’t lost half of the topping!

1 stick butter

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

2 tbsp. honey

10-15 fresh figs (I used frozen and it was just fine!)

25-30 blueberries

1 c. shortening

3/4 c. granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1-1/2 c. flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. milk

Lightly spray bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides.  Cut a circle of waxed paper the size of your pan  and lay it in the pan. Lightly spray the paper.  Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in brown sugar and honey.  Cook, stirring often until the sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Cool slightly. Pour sauce into prepared pan.  Place the figs, cut side down in the pan, making a circle in the middle and 5-6 half circles around the edges.  Put 4-5 blueberries inside the circles of figs. *(at this time, you could also sprinkle finely chopped pecans over the fruit.)

In a large bowl, beat shortening, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until creamy, about 4-5 minutes.  In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Add half to the shortening mixture and beat until mixed.  Add half the milk and continue beating.  Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk.  Batter should be thick.  Spoon over figs and blueberries in prepared pan being careful to seal around the edges.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool pan on wire rack for about an hour.  Invert onto a serving plate and remove waxed paper.  Let cool completely.