Tuesday, October 1, 2013

TWD: Baking with Julia - X Cookies

Our Tuesdays with Dorie recipe this week is for "X Cookies".  These are essentially grown up fig newtons.  Since I am a fig fan, I thought these cookies sounded like a fun treat.  Not necessarily what I will pack for snack day for the clever girl's kindergarten class, but good for us grown up types.  However, I must admit that the clever girl thought they were pretty good.  I just think that some other kiddos wouldn't care for them, plus since one of the ingredients is RUM, I don't want to become "THAT MOM" in her class, so snack day will have to be something else!  Which leaves more of these cookies for me!

Why did Nick Malgieri (the recipe author) make X cookies?  Maybe he was playing with the dough one day and ended up with these cute little X's?  Could there be O cookies too, so they could be X's and O's?  Like kisses and hugs? 

They start with a sweet dough that is a great recipe on three counts:  (1) it is fast and (2) it is tasty but (3) it is foolproof, according to Nick Malgieri!  I must say, a foolproof dough recipe is about too good to be true!  The dough is made in a food processor, and is a combination of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and eggs.  Once it is good and balled up around the processor blade, you are done!  One thought, though - I think it would be nice to add a little almond extract to the dough.  It would complement the filling nicely I think....

Dump that dough out onto a floured mat, knead it a little and then shape it into a log.  Done.

Now that the dough is done, let's do the filling:    Use that trusty food processor again for this step.  Put in all of the filling ingredients and pulse until it is all finely chopped.  The filling consists of figs, toasted almonds, apricot preserves, raisins, candied orange peel, chocolate, rum, and cinnamon.  YUM.  However, if these ingredients don't float your boat, I am certain you could mix things up a bit here.  You just want something that is almost like a paste, that you can roll into a log shape.  Speaking of log, shape this mixture into a log and cut it into 12 pieces.

Time to make some X's!  Cut your big roll of dough into 12 pieces.  Take one of those pieces and roll it into a 12 inch log.  Flatten it so it is about 3x12-inches. 

Now take one of your filling pieces and roll that into a 12 inch snake and sit it on top of your flattened dough:
Not very appealing looking, right?  Let's just not think about that, okay?

Now wrap the dough around the filling and roll it a bit longer so now it is 15 inches in length.  Cut into 3 inch long pieces - each of these forms an X.  

Now cut a small slit up each end of your piece of dough and shape into an X!  And there you have X cookies!  

Now brush with an egg wash and put them in the oven.  I actually forgot the egg wash on my first tray - the recipe actually never says to apply it, it just mentions the wash in the ingredients list, so by the time I was at this part of the recipe I had totally forgotten about that silly egg wash!  But I remembered when I took them out of the oven and managed to make it happen for the rest of the cookies.  The egg wash gives the cookies a nice sheen.  

We enjoyed these cookies.  The shape is something fun and different, the filling is tasty, and the recipe makes 5 dozen!  Hooray!  I think these would be a great addition to a Christmas platter.  Or should I say X-mas platter?  Teeheehee...

 Would you like one?

The recipe for X Cookies can be found on pages 318-319 of Baking with Julia, or you can find it here.  Do take a moment to see what other bakers in this group thought of the recipe - there are some great (and funny) cooks among us!  You can find our link list here!  Hey, do check that out - one of the bakers made O cookies and played tic-tac-toe!  Now THAT is clever!


  1. I liked these too! They were definitely christmas (or x-mas :)) cookies.

  2. Yeah, we will not go there! Ha ha ha. You are clever, I never even thought of Xmas! Good job. My recipe says to brush the top of the dough with egg wash before placing the filling on top. Good to see you really don't need to do that. One less step!

  3. Your daughter looks gorgeous like that. The photo is awesome! And your cookies look pretty darn good too!

  4. I really, really want to try these! No one in my house can/will eat these, though - just me:(

  5. Yes to the almond extract!
    Hey, being THAT mom isn't always bad :-)
    Love the picture of the clever girl!

  6. Haha, X-mas platter, love it! Great looking cookies, yours were so neatly lined up on the baking tray! We also really liked the cookies, and I also want to make them again for Christmas gifts.

  7. I think the X stands for Chi/Christ and these are typically a Christmas cookie. I liked these and I thought the filling smelled like my kitchen at Christmas.

  8. Great pics. Love the look of your finished cookies. WE loved these cookies too. Can't wait to make them again.

  9. yes, "X-mas platter" -- good one! the clever girl has sophisticated taste buds, too.


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