Oatmeal and Figs will warm your kitchen like no other combination could
If you live anywhere near Southwest Louisiana, you have most likely heard the phrase, “Would you like some figs?” a time or two around the months of July and August. Figs are like a summer staple here, and I can remember going over to my grandma’s house to pick a sticky bucket for my mama to cook down and can for the comingyear. Now that my mama has her own tree, my Pop will grab a few on a warm evening and stick them into the freezer for a tasty snack later in the week. People love their figs I tell you. My father in law being one of those people. His tree makes enough to feed a few families plus the farm’s population of birds. He usually ends up with a standing freezer loaded down with teardrop shaped delicacies come August, and absolutely no idea what to do with them since my mother in law can only can so many jars before her pantry has reached maximum capacity. Fig cakes and tasties such as this are often really great snacks for family, since it’s a way to use up your supply, plus, it allows those who don’t exactly love the texture of a whole fig to join in the fun. Ben’s Mimi came over to have dinner in the outdoor kitchen with us one day this week and mentioned a fig cookie recipe to me. She happily headed back to her house to make a copy for me to have (aren’t Mimi’s great?). When I asked her where she got the recipe, she said that she didn’t remember who it came from, but it was in her cabinet on a faded old piece of paper that she could barely read. Oh, you mean the mother-load of all recipe origins? Faded old cards from ancestors who could have had their own shows on Food Network had they lived in this day and age? Yeah, I’ll take it. And then I’ll blog about it because I know all of you would love to taste this too. And shame on Mimi for putting all of your hips at risk…they’re that good.
Skip to the bottom for the printable recipe if you’d like, but I always like to have a visual of what to expect before I start something, so I included lots of images for you to reference while you get your baking on.
You’re going to need 2 cups of cooked, mashed figs-This will be a 1 pint jar (I mash mine prior to cooking down when canning, so I already had a nice little puree, all ready to go. If you need suggestions on cooking down figs, just email me or comment below and I’ll be happy to help. Heck, I may even make it a post!)
You will also be using eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, Crisco (don’t substitute-only use Crisco brand), oatmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ground cloves.
Start by creaming your sugars and your Crisco. I used my stand mixer, because 5 cups of flour is a lot to stir by hand! You can definitely use an extra large bowl and a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer.
When it’s all creamed together like this, add in your eggs.
Do you crack your eggs into a separate container before adding to your mixtures? You better. My mom always made me do it but I thought it was craziness and an extra step that just accumulated more dirty dishes in the end. Really bad eggs are for people like Captain Jack Sparrow. Gosh, I crack myself up…
Then one day I was making a recipe last minute, late at night that I needed to have ready for a shower the very next morning, and I smiled thinking I was so dandy for having just the exact amount left of Madagascar vanilla. And then I cracked in a bad egg, and the whole batch was ruined, and I wasn’t going to find a hidden Madagascar vanilla at midnight in the back of my pantry. All that I could think as I choked back tears was, “Mama tried…”.
Now add in the star of the show, the figs, not Hattie, but that’s funny that her photograph made it into the picture because she usually is the star of the show. My friend Lauren and I canned these straight from my mama’s fig tree earlier in July, so using it in this recipe made me feel so accomplished!
Now let your creamed mixture sit while you mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl. This will be your flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Gosh it’s going to smell like the holidays. Oh, and try not to make a mess.
Now add your dry mixture to your creamed mixture, 1/2 of a cup at a time, blending slowly (lowest setting on stand mixer) before each new addition. Once all of this is added, you can add in your oats, 1/2 of a cup at a time as well.
Now this mixture filled my bowl to the top, and kept growing! Have a little faith, child, it will all mix up in the end. It just takes some time.
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and prepare your baking sheets, lining them with either parchment paper or a non-stick mat like these. If you don’t own a set, you need one. Now. It makes baking a breeze. I love these babies.
I think it’s important to know your oven. This is a concept that I just became comfortable with after beginning to make macaroons. I bought a cheap little oven thermometer, and I set it in my oven in different areas (high rack, middle rack, low rack) to see how much the temperature varies with each level. You can re-calibrate your oven too by looking up your make and model online and searching for the instructions (some ovens are a few degrees off). I found that our oven in the outdoor kitchen, which is gas, is actually 50 degrees hotter on the bottom rack than in the middle (which makes sense since the fire comes from the bottom).
Scoop cookie dough onto your sheets using symmetrical amounts. This cookie scoop is my favorite, and it makes for the perfect sized cookies ever single time. I find it much easier than using two spoons, but I do a lot of baking, so it’s useful for me to have these handy gadgets!
Bake for 10-12 minutes, mine were perfect at 11 minutes, and I set them on the counter to cool for at least 2 minutes, before moving to a cooling rack. Using the scoop that I used made me 118 cookies, which is almost 10 dozen. Your cookie quantity will vary depending on what size each cookie is, but you should get at least 6 dozen.
These would be perfect around the holidays with the warm flavor that the allspice and cloves lend. I think that I could double the figs, just to have more of a “figgy” taste, but most people don’t like to be overwhelmed by figs, so these are perfect. I mean, seriously, make some, and then share them with everyone, because damn it, 10 dozen is a lot of cookies.
I’ve already eaten 7 and I just made them this afternoon.
As Mimi stated on her directions that she transferred from her nearly illegible piece of paper, “These come out beautifully as directed”
Gosh, she’s adorable.
Here’s the printable
- 2 cups cooked, mashed figs
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups Crisco shortening
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 5 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cream together sugars and shortening in a large bowl
- Stir in eggs and figs
- Mix flour with soda, salt, and spices
- Add flour mixture and oatmeal to creamed mixture
- Spoon out onto lightly greased cookie sheets, or cookie sheets covered with a non-stick mat or parchment paper.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes
- Cooking time will depend on the size of the cookie