|Joanie's Fig Newtons|
In the1980s there was a popular machine-made cookie called the 'Fig Newton' made by Nabisco. This cookie dough was wrapped around a fig paste. Since this cookie, of course, would never reach the stature of the ceremonial cookie, the Hamantaschen, and since my poorly executed attempt at Hamantaschen didn't equal either one, my husband was amused and said, "Oh, good, here are some of "Joanie's Fig Newtons" - And so here is the story . . .
The photos I am including here are actually from Day 2 of this adventure. It is my second attempt at baking these famous, celebration cookies. None of our Alpha's seems to have made a dough as faulty and compromised as mine; in fact, I doubt if even Nabisco could duplicate it. Certainly after my first attempt at the Hamantaschen on the day before, Day 1, the batch I called "Ruins of Sablee", I had no idea I could possibly make the same mistakes on Day 2, especially having in the interim doggedly watched many YouTube films on making pate sucree, sablee, and others, and being 'tutorized' there by all sorts of French, Italian, American, British and wonderful old Jewish chefs. I surmised that none of them must have had more than the variety of butter-peas that I did not know how to regulate, and of course if they had they knew what to do with it. Myself, I still didn't know whether to go forward or backward with the flour pulsing 8-10 times in the Cuisinart to obtain the desired result because if I went the wrong way in either direction I was done for.
The first attempt to create this recipe on Day 1, was the one where I had the fall of a member of the dusty Hamantaschen Cookiedom. That dough was a beautiful sablee-colored dough. It was so crusty that it cracked like ruins, would not roll out at all, let alone be formed into anything but a questionable doily. I took a picture with one little shape of a droll Hamantaschen on the cutting board as this dough slid sadly into the trash can. I sent the photo to Monica, who responded that she thought I might be late for my post.
But all was not lost because I still had eggs, cream, filling made, flour, strained preserves, sugar and strained egg glaze. Therefore, on the morning of Day 2 the baking began again.
This whole process of creating the Hamantaschen isn't time consuming, as we all know. So once again my lovely softened Turbinado was placed into the Cuisinart and pulsed. I did all I was told. Until - yep - I hit the brick wall again. I really scrutinized the mixture this time so I wouldn't go beyond the size of a small butter pea. As I peered into the feed tube once again I knew I had to pulse more, or less, and I knew the parameters. I felt like I had more moisture this time and I took the dough out.
I began to follow more directions again, since after all it was Day 2. I emptied the dough into a plastic bag, kneaded, and made a ball, cut in half 210 g., made discs, refrigerated them in plastic. And then again the problems began once more:
I thawed a disc a bit after 30 minutes, floured and rolled it out on a floured mat, into a rectangle. Okay. Rotating, not okay. Sticking and crumbling, not okay. Lots of flour top and under, questionable because contributing to consistency? The dough is not happy dough. Nevertheless, the time has come to:
So, we are finally at the end of this novelette . . . I was thirsty last night. At midnight I went to the kitchen and got some orange juice. I passed by Joanie's Fig Newtons, and just for no reason picked up one and took a bite. My eyes flew open. Another bite. And then I ate two more. They were more dense than tender, and not flaky, but I have had worse, i.e. Fig Newtons themselves, and the filling was awesome with that slight hint of the lemon zest throughout. So I must say, if I had seen Patricia's tutorial it would have undoubtedly shown me butter-no-larger-than-a-small-pea-perfect. Yet, even though not tender, shapely, or flaky, these tasted 'perty darned good' and were deemed worthy to escape an early demise, except they have strangely disappeared, those Joanie's Fig Newtons.
This all leads me closer to the Hamantaschen creation once more: Day 3.
|Mercurius Sublimatus - 'Curi'|
Thanks for listening. Again.
We'll be over to learn the consistency, Patricia.