Posted on by Dawn Casale


I have often told the fig cookie story to our One Girl fans. I speak about it on our site, in our forthcoming book and to lots of people in the shop. That is because it's a special story and one of my favorites. If you've heard it before, I hope you'll indulge me. If not, grab a fig newton (a fig cookie stand in until our book comes out and you can actually make them yourself) and sit down for story time.

Each year, for as long as I can remember, on a Saturday shortly after Thanksgiving, all of the ladies in my family get together for the annual fig cookie bake off. It happens only once a year and is no small feat. It requires hours of preparation, weeks ahead of time, including the grinding of the figs and the mixing of the dough (for which we used 28 lbs of flour this year!). On "the day" we spend hours forming, filling, cutting and baking mounds of these fig filled, chocolate & orange studded gems.

This year, the fig fest took place on November 27 and here is a glimpse into the whole thing (yes, those are razor blades):

Here's how it goes down: my mom and Aunt Tina, the "Fig Matriarchs" are committed to getting the younger generation to learn how to make the perfect fig cookie so they watch our children and prepare our lunch so that we can get as much practice as possible. The rolling and filling are not the issue, but instead, cutting the intricate designs with a razor blade (don't ask who came up with that idea). After years of doing this, under the watchful eyes of "The Matriarchs" ours do not look nearly as lovely as theirs. Each year, improvements are made, but I fear we will never quite get there.

In the end, it doesn't much matter because isn't it true that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder?

Posted on by Dawn Casale | Posted in cobble hill


Dawn Casale

About Dawn Casale

Barneys New York was the place I called my second home for six years. It was the classroom in which I learned the importance of aesthetic, the power of creativity and the joy of indulgence. At a point in time which I cannot specifically put my finger on, I reflected on my career choices and decided to return to that which I really knew... food and humanity's love of it. I began to think about my childhood and how much of it had been happily spent in the kitchen. The memories of the aromas and flavors that came from my grandmother's kitchen were vivid and exhilarating. That is where I learned about the ritual and significance of food, the sense of happiness and comfort it brought, and the essential elements of quality and care that went into its preparation.

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