Brown Sugar Shortbread with Fig Jam

by Tokyo Terrace on September 14, 2009

This year has presented itself with something unexpected. Something that seemed like such an unattainable luxury last year. It was unnecessary to our existence, but its absence was felt on many occasions. By some strange alignment of the stars, the necessary factors lined up and the baking stork (also known as my mother-in-law) brought us a special gift: a toaster oven!

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Maybe you weren’t expecting all of that excitement over a toaster oven. You’re probably saying, “Seriously Rachael. Get your priorities straight!” But seriously. I could not be more thrilled to have this tiny machine that sits perfectly on top of my refrigerator. It can toast, it can bake, it can broil. And it isn’t the size of Brad’s shoe. (Brad’s shoes are huge, but when this comparison is used in relation to an oven it is nothing!)

IMG_3879In the spirit of this new found arena of culinary pleasures, I am sharing a recipe I have made at least 3 times since we have been back in our Japanese kitchen. A while ago, Kamran, from The Sophisticated Gourmet, hosted the Blogger Secret Ingredient Challenge, which was brown sugar. The winning recipe ended up being brown sugar cookies, which inspired me to develop this recipe for brown sugar shortbread.

I added a second secret ingredient to my cookies: white wine. When I was in Italy, I learned to make white wine cookies and I loved the light citrus flavor that resulted. This lightness paired with the rich brown sugar was a match made in heaven. To make it even more appealing, I topped each little shortbread cookie with a teaspoon of my homemade fig jam. In the words of Chris Farley, holy cannoli!

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These cookies are great for back-to-school, when schedules get busy. The dough can be made in a big batch and frozen to use as needed. And it is so versatile! You can add your favorite store-bought jam or just bake them plain. Either way, you will be addicted!

Brown Sugar Shortbread with Fig Jam

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

10 tablespoons room temperature butter

2/3 cups light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk

3 tablespoons dry white wine

1 1/2 cups flour

Fig Jam

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream the butter, sugar and salt with an electric mixer or by hand. Add the egg yolk and mix until fully incorporated. Add the wine and mix until incorporated.

Carefully add the flour a little at a time until it is mixed in fully and the dough comes together into the bowl and is very slightly crumbly but not dry. Form the dough into a ball and divide in two. Dust a work area with flour.

Roll the two halves of dough into logs approximately 1 foot in length and 1 1/2″ in diameter. Slice the dough into 3/4″ cookies. Arrange the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Using the back of a spoon or your thumb, press a little indentation in the center of each cookie. Using a small teaspoon, spoon a small amount of the fig jam onto each cookie.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

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  • http://www.fakefoodfree.com/ Lori

    I love brown sugar shortbread. This looks delicious. And with the fig jam? Wow! Sounds wonderful.

  • http://www.fakefoodfree.com Lori

    I love brown sugar shortbread. This looks delicious. And with the fig jam? Wow! Sounds wonderful.

  • http://wasabiprime.blogspot.com/ wasabi prime

    These photos are just beautiful. And I love how everything here was homemade. Fig jam and shortbread sounds heavenly. And I love toaster ovens. I still have/use the one from college, despite much pressure from my sig-other who is a fan of plain toasters. Mere toasters cannot do the wide array of options that a toaster oven can do!

  • http://wasabiprime.blogspot.com wasabi prime

    These photos are just beautiful. And I love how everything here was homemade. Fig jam and shortbread sounds heavenly. And I love toaster ovens. I still have/use the one from college, despite much pressure from my sig-other who is a fan of plain toasters. Mere toasters cannot do the wide array of options that a toaster oven can do!

  • Margot

    WOW! You’re a fantastic photographer, and your ideas are great! I can’t wait to try your shortbreads.

  • Margot

    WOW! You’re a fantastic photographer, and your ideas are great! I can’t wait to try your shortbreads.

  • http://maplencornbread.blogspot.com/ Jen @ MaplenCornbread

    These are perfect!!!! Oh my goodness I love homemade fig jam, what a perfect cookie!

  • http://maplencornbread.blogspot.com/ Jen @ MaplenCornbread

    These are perfect!!!! Oh my goodness I love homemade fig jam, what a perfect cookie!

  • thewhitesintokyo

    I wish you all could actually taste these cookies. Since I seem to be the only beneficiary of Rachael’s amazingness these days, I suggest making these at home…SOON!

    -Hubby of the blogerette

  • thewhitesintokyo

    I wish you all could actually taste these cookies. Since I seem to be the only beneficiary of Rachael’s amazingness these days, I suggest making these at home…SOON!

    -Hubby of the blogerette

  • http://www.sense-serendipity.blogspot.com/ Divina

    I think I’m ready for more fig recipes. The short bread and fig jam are a great combination along with the milk. I remember Kamran saying he could he twenty of those short breads. I have to try it for myself. Since I don’t have any figs, I’ll try it with guava jam. :)

  • http://www.sense-serendipity.blogspot.com Divina

    I think I’m ready for more fig recipes. The short bread and fig jam are a great combination along with the milk. I remember Kamran saying he could he twenty of those short breads. I have to try it for myself. Since I don’t have any figs, I’ll try it with guava jam. :)

  • http://www.sense-serendipity.blogspot.com/ Divina

    Oh, I almost forgot. The photo are stunning and I love your photos

  • http://www.sense-serendipity.blogspot.com Divina

    Oh, I almost forgot. The photo are stunning and I love your photos

  • http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com MaryMoh

    Looks awesome. I love shortbreads….go so well with some cream and strawberries. But using fig jam here sounds very good. I hv to try.

  • http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com/ MaryMoh

    Looks awesome. I love shortbreads….go so well with some cream and strawberries. But using fig jam here sounds very good. I hv to try.

  • Mary Blanchard

    Rachael–How can you do this to me when Gus and I have just embarked on the South Beach diet again. No carbs for two weeks!

  • Mary Blanchard

    Rachael–How can you do this to me when Gus and I have just embarked on the South Beach diet again. No carbs for two weeks!

  • http://kitchensimplicity.com Cheri

    I LOVE shortbread! This version sounds incredible. My husband, son and I just moved to Norway last year from Canada. The cultural differences aren’t quite as great but food wise I find myself stumped at times. Just thought I would let you know that you are not alone. :) And, I agree it definitely makes me a better cook.. or at least helps me learn from my mistakes. :)

  • http://kitchensimplicity.com/ Cheri

    I LOVE shortbread! This version sounds incredible. My husband, son and I just moved to Norway last year from Canada. The cultural differences aren’t quite as great but food wise I find myself stumped at times. Just thought I would let you know that you are not alone. :) And, I agree it definitely makes me a better cook.. or at least helps me learn from my mistakes. :)

  • tokyoterrace

    Cheri: Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is always great to hear what other people are experiencing living abroad and to know that what I have been feeling is completely normal! Norway would be such an interesting place to live- I would love to visit someday!

  • tokyoterrace

    Cheri: Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is always great to hear what other people are experiencing living abroad and to know that what I have been feeling is completely normal! Norway would be such an interesting place to live- I would love to visit someday!

  • tokyoterrace

    Mary B: So sorry! I did not mean to make this more difficult, I promise! Maybe you can reward yourself after the two week is over?

  • tokyoterrace

    Mary B: So sorry! I did not mean to make this more difficult, I promise! Maybe you can reward yourself after the two week is over?

  • tokyoterrace

    MaryMoh: The fig jam really is the perfect compliment to the shortbread. It is subtly sweet and enhances the buttery, sugary flavor of the shortbread. Thanks for stopping by!

  • tokyoterrace

    MaryMoh: The fig jam really is the perfect compliment to the shortbread. It is subtly sweet and enhances the buttery, sugary flavor of the shortbread. Thanks for stopping by!

  • tokyoterrace

    Divinape: Guava jam would be great, too! Let me know how that turns out.

  • tokyoterrace

    Divinape: Guava jam would be great, too! Let me know how that turns out.

  • tokyoterrace

    Thank hubs!

  • tokyoterrace

    Jen: Thank you so much! I looked at your blog today and a compliment about baking coming from you is pure flattery! Thanks for stopping by- hope you’ll come back!

  • tokyoterrace

    Thank hubs!

  • tokyoterrace

    Jen: Thank you so much! I looked at your blog today and a compliment about baking coming from you is pure flattery! Thanks for stopping by- hope you’ll come back!

  • tokyoterrace

    Thanks Margot! I’m so glad you were able to take a look at Tokyo Terrace. Your artistic perspective means a lot!

  • tokyoterrace

    Thanks Margot! I’m so glad you were able to take a look at Tokyo Terrace. Your artistic perspective means a lot!

  • tokyoterrace

    Wasabi Prim: Thank you, as usual, for the kind words! It is amazing what those toaster ovens can do- love them!

  • tokyoterrace

    Lori: Thank you so much!

  • tokyoterrace

    Wasabi Prim: Thank you, as usual, for the kind words! It is amazing what those toaster ovens can do- love them!

  • tokyoterrace

    Lori: Thank you so much!

  • http://rasamalaysia.com/ Rasa Malaysia

    Got your comment. Thank you. You guys live in Japan, so lucky. I am jealous. My dream is to live there at least for a few months to learn more about Japanese cuisine. :)

  • http://rasamalaysia.com Rasa Malaysia

    Got your comment. Thank you. You guys live in Japan, so lucky. I am jealous. My dream is to live there at least for a few months to learn more about Japanese cuisine. :)

  • tokyoterrace

    Rasa Malaysia: Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love yours and read it often. It is great living in Japan. I hope that this year I will really be able to delve into the cuisine and learn more about cooking authentic Japanese food. Maybe until you get to move to Japan you can live vicariously through my blog!

  • tokyoterrace

    Rasa Malaysia: Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love yours and read it often. It is great living in Japan. I hope that this year I will really be able to delve into the cuisine and learn more about cooking authentic Japanese food. Maybe until you get to move to Japan you can live vicariously through my blog!

  • http://simplylifeblog.blogspot.com/ Gina

    Looks like the perfect afternoon treat!

  • http://simplylifeblog.blogspot.com/ Gina

    Looks like the perfect afternoon treat!

  • http://thesophisticatedgourmet.blogspot.com/ Kamran Siddiqi

    Seriously Rachael. Get your priorities straight! LOL Just kidding. Thanks for the mention and I am glad that you found some inspiration from my blog! Those cookies with that jam look absolutely delish! I will definitely have to give this recipe a try! :D Lovely photos, BTW!

  • http://thesophisticatedgourmet.blogspot.com Kamran Siddiqi

    Seriously Rachael. Get your priorities straight! LOL Just kidding. Thanks for the mention and I am glad that you found some inspiration from my blog! Those cookies with that jam look absolutely delish! I will definitely have to give this recipe a try! :D Lovely photos, BTW!

  • tokyoterrace

    Thanks Gina! It was a perfect afternoon treat :)

  • tokyoterrace

    Thanks Gina! It was a perfect afternoon treat :)

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  • Jess

    I just made these cookies and they are FANTASTIC!

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  • Stephanie

    Just found your post and tried the recipe.  It was delicious thanks!  I substituted verjuice for the white wine, which worked really well.

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