The goat cheese in the dough has a mild impact. To up the goat-cheese flavor, use goat butter and goat cheese. A pinch of sea salt flakes goes a long way at drawing of the fig and goat cheese flavors, too. For the fig jam, use any store-bought jam you like, or make your own if you're so inclined.
Fig and Goat Cheese Thumbprints
Makes 34 cookies
- 2 cups (280 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (40 g) whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes, like Maldon or Murray River (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces / 113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces / 113 g) soft fresh goat cheese (or cream cheese)
- 3/4 cup (135 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon or orange zest
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup (about 4 ounces / 113 g) ground toasted nuts, such as almond or walnut
- a jar of fig jam (any kind you like)
In a bowl, whisk together the flours and salts.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and goat cheese briefly to meld a bit and to soften. Add the brown sugar and beat together until the butter mixture is aerated and pale in color, 4 minutes. Mix in the zest.
On medium speed, add the egg to the butter and sugar and mix until the batter resembles cottage cheese. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again briefly.
Add the flours and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to bring the batter together. Mix for another 10 seconds on medium speed and then bring together with a spatula or (ideally) a plastic bench scraper.
Stretch out a long rectangle of plastic wrap on a work surface and put the dough on top. Pat into an 8-inch square and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until chilled throughout, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a couple of half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pans with parchment paper.
Cut the dough into six strips. Cut the strips into pieces about 1-inch long and roll into balls about 3/4 ounce / 20 g in weight (you should have about 34 balls). Roll the balls into the ground nuts. Dive the cookies among the sheet pans (you can fit up to 20 on one; they won’t spread significantly). With the tip of your index finger, make “thumbprints” in the center of each cookie.
Spoon a small amount of jam into each thumbprint. It is okay if some spills off the sides—they don’t need to look perfect.
Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until you can move the cookies on the pan with a nudge and the bottoms are golden brown, another 6 to 8 minutes. Let them cool on the pan.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in an airtight container in the freezer for 2 weeks.