Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chocolate Fig Brownie Cookies

The fig has long been considered an aphrodisiac.  Clearly, it deserves a little bit of the spotlight on Valentine's Day.  A starring role in a fine treat is a good start.
These cookies are rich and chocolatey, enhanced by bits of sweet, chewy fig.  The recipe is adapted from Quaker.  These cookies are easy to make and very customizable.  Maybe you're making them for work and don't want to chance those aphrodisiac properties - well, just substitute the figs for dried cherries, dates, raisins, Craisins, or nuts.  Or, go for all chocolate - nothing wrong with that!
Tis the season for chocolate (and figs) - enjoy!

Chocolate Fig Brownie Cookies
Adapted from Quaker

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chi[s
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped dried mission figs (stems removed)

*Milk chocolate chips can be substituted with semi-sweet or white chocolate.  Figs can be substituted with another dry fruit (like cherries, raisins, or dates) or chopped nuts (like pecans, walnuts, or macadamias).

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  Place the semi-sweet chocolate in a medium bowl.  Microwave for 60 seconds, stop, and stir.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stop, stir, and repeat until the chocolate is just melted and smooth.  Set aside.

3.  Whisk the flour and baking soda together in a small bowl.  Set aside.

4.  Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat until well-blended.  Add the cream cheese.  Beat until creamy and smooth.

5.  Add the vanilla and eggs to the sugar mixture.  Beat until well-blended.

6.  Add the melted chocolate to the bowl.  Mix well, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

7.  Add the flour mixture to the bowl.  Beat on low until the dry ingredients are almost fully incorporated.

8.  Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and figs.

9.  Scoop 2-tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" between each.

10.  Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the cookies are nearly set (do not over bake - the cookies will look underdone at first).

11.  Cool the cookies for one minute on the baking sheet.  Transfer to racks to cool completely.  Serve!

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