Soft, filled sugar cookies are Magical!  They’re what those Newton things wish they were.

Fig-Filled Wizard Cookies (20 minutes plus 1 hour for the dough to chill.  Makes 2-3 dozen, depending on size)

Cookie dough

1 C. room temperature butter

1 C. granulated sugar

2 well-beaten eggs

2 Tb. milk

1 Tb. vanilla extract

3 1/3 C. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

(optional: decorative colored sugar)

Fig filling

15 dried figs

¼ C. apple sauce

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. each powdered ginger and grated nutmeg

zest of ½ lemon

1 Tb. honey

pinch of salt

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Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Set the mixer on low and gradually stir in the dry ingredients so you don’t end up wearing it.  When the dough just comes together, turn it out onto a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper.  Cover the dough loosely so you can gently press it together into a flat disk.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

To speed the making of the filling, it’s best to use a food processor, if you have one. If not, finely dice the figs. It just will be chunkier.  Chop up the figs first, since they will take a bit to get fairly smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine.  Taste to see if the mixture needs more honey or citrus.

Preheat the oven to 355-360.  Dust your rolling board and rolling pin with powdered sugar.  Divide the dough into at least two portions.  Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick.  Select a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter (you can use other shapes. I actually couldn’t find my round cutter, so I used a wine glass!) cut out the cookies and place half on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Spoon a small amount of the filling into the center. Place another cookie on top and firmly press around all the edges to seal.  (If using decorative sugar, wet the cookie edge with water and roll the edge in the colored sugar.)  Bake about 8 minutes, until the edges of the cookies just start to brown.  Remove from oven and cool on racks.

The sugar cookies are good on their own, but it really takes little additional fussing to make the filling and seal the cookies.  Bear in mind, using two cookies to make the “sandwich” reduces the number of cookies you are going to get in a batch.

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