Yeah, I know, I was supposed to write this last week and now Purim 2013 is just a blur — except for these little beauties! Dainty little things filled with whatever you want; in this case, creamy sharp cheese combined with macerated figs, rosemary and vodka.
2 cups flour (whole wheat or all-purpose are fine)
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅓ cup sugar
zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, (8 Tablespoons, ½ cup) melted
½ cup dried black Mission figs
1 sprig fresh rosemary
scant pinch sea salt
small wedge manchego (or similar aged sheep’s milk cheese)
For the filling: Slice the figs and throw them in a glass jar or tall plastic container. Add the rosemary, vodka and tiny pinch of salt. Add JUST enough water to cover the figs. Give the container and shake (after putting on the lid, of course!) and set aside for 30 minutes or a couple of days.
In a large shallow bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Form a well in the centre of the bowl and add the eggs, sugar, lemon and vanilla extract. Begin to slowly stir, without breaking the walls of flour. Gently incorporate the butter and eventually all the flour in the bowl. Knead the dough JUST until combined. If the dough is too sticky, add small amounts of flour as needed. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or a few hours.
Preheat oven to 360F . Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface to lay the cool dough. Then sprinkle some flour on your rolling pin and use it to roll out the dough into a large flat expanse. As the expanse grows, sprinkle some more flour on it, then flip the dough and sprinkle flour on the second side, which then gets rolled out some more. Supposedly they say as thin as 1/8th of an inch.
Using an upside down mug or glass, cut out as many rounds as you can. The remainder of the dough can be kneaded into a new ball and rolled out again a couple of times, but try to handle the dough as little as possible.
Add a small piece of the cheese and a couple of fig slices to the centre of each dough circle. Have a cup of water nearby and with wet fingertips and pinch three corners together to form an overall triangular shape. Transfer to the prepared tray and bake until golden, about 12 minutes.