October/November/December 2011 Fig Focus

figs on leaves

Special Holiday Recipe Edition

Delight Family and Friends Throughout the Holidays

Fall brings nature’s show of colors to our fig orchards, a crispness to the air, and warm thoughts of holiday baking. Distinctive, handmade gifts of food are personal and inexpensive—something on everyone’s mind this year. Baking cookies and sweet treats, creating beautiful baskets with unique themes, and putting together collections of favorite recipes all say happy holidays to friends and family without breaking the bank.

For holiday gift giving and entertaining, golden Calimyrna and dark purple Mission Figs bring elegance and unequalled flavor. Whether you’re going big this year and buying a bulk box of Missions or Calimyrnas to bake up a storm (and get the best price), or you’re putting together gift baskets featuring our beautifully packaged, hand-packed figs, the Growers Store has what you need.

From sweet to savory, our diverse collection of incredibly delicious recipes offers a wealth of wonderful holiday food gift ideas—some of our favorites are featured here.  Additionally, figs make a delightful addition to holiday fruitcakes, quick breads, rum cakes, fudge, cookies, and jams.  Holiday gifts of food go from simple to extraordinary with California Figs.

Chocolate-Dipped Stuffed Figs

  • 15 Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid 
  • Mission or Calimyrna Figs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brandy*
  • 15 to 30 small pieces candied ginger, toasted nuts or chocolate
  • 5 to 6 ounces semisweet, bittersweet or premium white chocolate, chopped

With sharp knife, cut small slit in bottom of each fig. In small saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Stir in brandy and figs. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Drain figs, cool and dry thoroughly. Stuff one or two pieces of ginger, nuts and/or chocolate into each fig. Place chopped chocolate in 1-cup glass measuring cup or small microwave-safe bowl. Heat on medium/50% power until almost melted, stirring after every 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from oven and stir until melted. Hold stem of each fig and dip in melted chocolate. Place figs, stems up, on wax paper-lined tray until chocolate sets. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

*Or substitute 1/2 cup water mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Valley Fig Growers Teams Up with Jarlsberg Cheese For The Holidays

Savory Jarlsberg Thumbprints with Fig-Pepper Jelly

These are so incredibly delicious, your guests will never get

past the appetizers.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Jarlsberg cheese
  • 1 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped, toasted pecans or unblanched almonds
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped, stemmed Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly (red or green)

Preheat oven to 350°. Place butter in large bowl.  Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Beat in egg yolks.  On low speed, gradually beat in flour.  Stir in Jarlsberg, parmesan and nuts.  Divide dough into 4 equal portions.  Wrap 3 in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill. On work surface, form remaining portion of dough into 10 (1 1/2-inch) balls.  Place balls, 1 1/2-inches apart, on ungreased baking sheet.  With thumb or back of wooden spoon, make 1/2-inch indentation in center of each cookie.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.  If needed, press back of teaspoon into cookies to re-form indentations.  Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.  Repeat shaping and baking with remaining dough.  To serve, in small bowl, stir together figs and jelly.  Fill each cookie with about 1 teaspoon fig-pepper jelly. Makes 40 cookies. 

Make ahead note:  Dough can be prepared 1 to 2 days ahead. Form dough into 1 1/2-inch cylinder, wrap airtight and chill or freeze for longer storage.  Baked cookies can be stored unfilled, in airtight container for 2 days or frozen.  To re-crisp, place on baking sheet in 350° oven for 2 to 4 minutes. Cool. Fill with fig-pepper jelly as directed.

Fig Cranberry Bars with Caramel Drizzle

Make several batches and give as gifts. You’re sure to receive great gifts in return!

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 ½ cups chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs
  • ¾ cup chopped, toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup caramel ice cream topping

In small bowl combine cranberries and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; set aside. In medium bowl stir together 2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar and baking soda. Stir in butter. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Bake in 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Stir figs and walnuts into cranberries and sprinkle evenly over crust. Stir together caramel topping and remaining 1/3 cup flour; drizzle over fruits and nuts. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake for additional 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 32 bars.

Coming Soon! Our Website is Getting a Makeover Just in Time for the Holidays!

  • Great new graphics and features
  • Super easy to use Growers Store for all your holiday fig shopping
  • New and expanded health and nutrition information
  • Video clips from our new sponsorship of Joanne Weir
  • Nutrition information on all our recipes

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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