Fig Thumbprint Cookies

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Fig Thumbprint Cookies – buttery, shortbread cookies with a hint of orange flavor and filled with pureed figs.....


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There’s something I’ve always loved about the little fig cookies I enjoyed growing up.  I remember eating them with my dad in the evenings after he came home from work.  We were never allowed many sweets, but somehow the fig cookie or the Fig Newton, fell into the “healthy” category.  The packs seemed so small so just two or three were all we were allowed.

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My father-in-law came for a visit last week and Fig Newtons are cookies he has always loved too.  Every time he visits, I make sure to have a couple of packs in my pantry so he can enjoy some with his afternoon tea.  Before this particular visit, I thought it might be fun to make homemade Fig Newtons for him.  With the hectic preparations that usually come before family visits, I never did get around to making them, but instead came up with this easy recipe for Fig Thumbprint Cookies.

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Instead of the figs sandwiched between two pieces of cookie dough, I used my thumbprint cookie recipe and infused it with sweet orange zest.  The orange zest goes wonderfully with figs.  The flavors compliment each other well.

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I used dried figs which are available year round.  I placed the figs in a pot with a little water and heated them on the stove to soften just a little.  Then, I pureed the softened figs in my food processor.  I placed a spoonful of the pureed figs in the little indentation on each cookie and baked them.  I love that the fig topping is simply figs.  No sugar.  No additives.  No preservatives.  Natural.

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The Fig Thumbprint Cookies taste so good, they almost leave me at a loss for words, which makes it very hard to write a blog post.

But, let me try…

The cookies are soft, buttery and completely and utterly delicious.

They bake in under 30 minutes.  You’ll love them too, I promise!

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Fig Thumbprint Cookies

Buttery, shortbread cookies with a hint of orange flavor and filled with pureed figs.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 8 ounces dried figs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup butter room temperature, 2 sticks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Combine the figs and water in a medium saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and allow the water to boil until the figs have absorbed it.
  • Transfer the figs to a food processor and pulse, scraping down the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is completely smooth. Set aside and allow the filling to cool.
  • Meanwhile, make the cookie dough.
  • Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla extract and orange zest.
  • Add flour and salt and mix until incorporated.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet.
  • Press down in the center of the dough with your thumb to make a small well in the center of each cookie.
  • Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly golden. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. If the indentation looks shallow, press down gently again to make the indentation deeper. Fill each with approximately 1/2 teaspoon pureed figs.
  • Place baking sheet back in the oven to further cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until edges are lightly golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet to firm up before moving the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.


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