Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Cream butter, coconut oil, sugar and brown sugar together until very light and uniform in color, scraping bowl when necessary. Add peanut butter and mix to combine.
Add eggs, one at a time, and beat to blend well, then vanilla, scraping bowl as needed.
Add flour and baking soda and mix until well blended.
Finally, add oats, coconut and peanuts and stir to combine well.
Scoop or shape into balls (whatever size you like- I like golf-ball size at the very least) and place on prepared baking sheets. Press down with a fork in a criss-cross pattern so they are about 1/2″ thick.
Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes (or longer, depending on the size), until just starting to brown on the edges. Let cool before removing from cookie sheet.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8″ square baking pan with a parchment sling – cut one piece of parchment 8″ wide and about 14″ long so it lines the bottom exactly and extends over two of the sides so you can lift out the shortbread easily.
Melt butter and cool slightly.
Process powdered sugar, flour, almond flour and salt in the food processor until mixed well. Pour in melted butter and vanilla extract and pulse until a dough has formed.
Press the dough into the prepared pan – try to make it flat. Using a bench scraper or other straight edge, press the dough around the edges of the pan to even them out. Cut the dough down the middle of the pan so you have two 4″ halves. Now cut the dough perpendicular to that cut into 1″ strips. You will have sixteen 1″ bars.
Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the shortbread is dark golden brown.
Sprinkle liberally with granulated sugar and let cool completely.
Lift shortbread out of pan and cut again following the cuts you made before. Be appreciated.
1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit (apricots, figs, raisins, etc.)
1/2 cup candied cherries (morello, maraschino, etc.)
1 cup Brandy or Cognac
3/4 cup butter
8 oz. almond paste
2/3 cup sugar
1 TBSP brandy or cognac
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Chop the dried fruit into small pieces- about the same size as your raisins. Halve the candied cherries. Place in a bowl and cover with Cognac or Brandy. Let sit overnight.
Drain the fruit and reserve 1 TBSP cognac/brandy.
Toast pecans in 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Let cool and chop coarsely.
Cream butter, almond paste and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the tablespoon of brandy/cognac and mix. Scrape bowl and mix well.
Stir together flour, baking powder, cloves and salt. Add to the butter and mix until combined, scraping bowl if necessary. Add fruit and pecans and mix well.
Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a 15″ log and roll up in parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice the dough into 1/2″ slices using a sharp knife. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2″ apart. Alternately, to get a more uniform cookie – you can do what Dorie Greenspan does and bake each round in the cup of a muffin tin.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until starting to brown around the edges.
The Spencer house didn’t stock store-bought treats. At lunchtime I used to trade my mom’s homemade cookies for oatmeal creme pies. One time I asked for Pop-tarts for Christmas. But every so often Fig Newtons would appear and I thought it was a treat royale.
1 cup (1/3 lb.) dried figs (Black Mission or Turkish will do fine)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 TBSP honey
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP honey
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Turbinado sugar and water
Put figs in a 1- or 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Pour boiling water over figs, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
Prepare your work surface with a baking sheet and two pieces of parchment paper that are about 14″ long. Make sure your baking sheet can fit in your freezer. Cut a 1 1/2″-wide tip off the end of a pastry bag or ziplock bag that can fit your fig filling.
Combine butter and brown sugar in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, honey and vanilla and beat to incorporate, scraping bowl and paddle when needed.
Stir together flour, salt and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and stir on low to combine. Increase speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds, until well incorporated.
Scrape dough onto a sheet of parchment paper about 14″ long. Sandwich with the second piece of parchment and roll out gently so your dough is 10″ wide by 14″ long. You can cut and paste the dough to fill in bare spots if needed. Slide the dough onto a baking sheet and put in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Pour the figs with their water, honey and graham cracker crumbs into the food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape the bowl, and making sure there are no chunks. Scrape into prepared pastry bag or ziplock. Chill in the refrigerator until dough is ready (this can be done ahead of time).
After the dough has chilled, remove from freezer. Trim edges. Cut in half lengthwise so you have two 5″ by 14″ pieces. Separate the pieces- placing each on it’s own piece of parchment.
Pipe a 1 1/2″ thick line of fig filling down the center of each strip of dough. Carefully fold over one side of dough over the filling, then fold again- enveloping the filling in the center, with the seam on the bottom. Repeat with second piece of dough.
Use the parchment paper to lift the uncooked fig bars onto the baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°.
After chilling, remove from freezer. Wet a pastry brush with water and moisten the tops of the bars. Sprinkle liberally with Turbinado sugar. Trim the ends of each log and slice each into 2″ bars. Place on lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until light brown on the bottom.