Grain-Free Fig & Almond Linzer Cookies

Grain-free linzer cookies

A year ago I was wandering through Austria & Germany, riding up gondolas and getting lost in forests thicker than any forest seen in Colorado. Each mountain top was dotted with a unique restaurant or bar. Just last night I was going back through old photos, wishing I could teleport back. Since that wasn't an option, I started cooking instead. 😉 

Grain-Free Fig & Almond Linzer Cookies
Grain-Free Fig & Almond Linzer Cookies
Dolomites

Linzer Cookies are a classic Austria dessert, so it feels appropriate to make these cookies now, as I swim in nostalgia. The cooler weather just serves as an excuse to turn on the oven again. As you assemble these cookies, you can imagine you are deep in a valley in Austria again, maybe in a small cottage with gingerbread trim and a wood burning stove in the corner. 

The Linzer Cookies are stuffed with figs, because I had a special bag of Smyrna Figs from Made in Nature (which I love because they are the softest, juiciest dried figs I've ever had, and they're unsulfured). All week I've been sprinkling them on various meals-- cheese plates, Harissa roasted eggplant- refraining from putting the whole bag in my desk snack drawer and eating them all straight, which is what I usually do with dried figs. When these cookies were plated, the wait was worth it. ❤️

Grain-Free Fig & Almond Linzer Cookies
Grain-Free Fig & Almond Linzer Cookies

Made in Nature provided me with product for this blog post, but the recipes and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! Made In Nature helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.  

Grain-Free Fig & Almond Linzer Cookies

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

Almonds and figs pair perfectly!

Yields: 12   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup figs
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Place the figs in a bowl, and pour water over top to soak them.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk until incorporated. Add the melted coconut oil, honey, and vanilla, and stir until a uniform dough forms. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F. After dough has chilled, remove from fridge. Cut out a piece of parchment paper and roll dough out with a rolling pin on parchment to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut cookies out as desired and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool.
  4. While cookies cool, make fig filling: drain water, and place figs in high powdered blender and puree into a thick jam-like mixture, scraping sides of blender as needed to get a consistent texture.
  5. Spread fig jam on a cookie, and top with a second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat until cookies are used up.

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Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken

Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken

On a whim, we stopped at a grocery store mid-road trip for a bite of food. Something easy, already cooked and ready to go. The deli section, to be perfectly honest, was bleak. I ordered a balsamic fig glazed chicken with low expectations. Maybe it was exactly those low expectation that led to what happened next: I took a bite and was more than pleasantly surprised. I was inspired, in fact, by this random deli order.

Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken

We drove on as we ate, and Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken ingrained itself further into my mind with every bite. You could say that anything with figs is destined to be delicious (that sounds like something I'd say), and this chicken was no exception.

Of course, timing wasn't on my side: it was already October, and it would be 10 months before I saw a fig again, at least here in the foothills. 

Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken
Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken

The next year, I bought figs the minute they hit the shelves. That chicken recipe would come to pass, finally! Here it is: a balsamic fig glazed chicken that you'll want to start making now, before fig season has past and you are stuck just dreaming about it. (Take it from a girl that's been there.) Of course, in working on this recipe, I learned that it works much better if you use fig jam, rather than fresh figs, which means I waited those 10 months for nothing...

Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken

Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print This Recipe

Fig jam and balsamic vinegar are reduced with red wine, shallots, garlic and thyme to make a sweet and savory sauce.

Serves: 4   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breast cutlets
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 2 closed garlic
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup fig jam (I used a 100% fruit version)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 springs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • Optional: slices of swiss cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Mince the garlic and shallots. Once the oil is hot, add them to the pan. Stir occasionally, cook until the shallots just begin to brown.
  2. Add the wine, jam, and balsamic to the sauce pan, and stir until combined. Bring to a simmer. Add the thyme.
  3. While the sauce simmers, cook the chicken. Heat remaining tablespoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Place chicken in pan, and cook on each side for 5 minutes, until the outside is golden and the juices run clear.
  4. Allow sauce to simmer until is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add salt & pepper to taste. Then, serve chicken and spoon sauce over top. Add slices of cheese over hot sauce if desired.

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Fig, Butternut, and Rosemary Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

I’ve been taking it slow this week: my office is closed for the holiday longer than other offices (it’s amazing!) and so I have time to relax. It’s just me — most everyone else is back to their regular routine. A week an a half with nothing to worry about except binge watching Reign, adding some stitches to my knitting project, and concocting interesting lunches. It may get old after a few days, but for now I’m just basking in the glory of laziness. 

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Lots of free time = time to make those dishes I never get to. Things that require attention, extra effort, or a long roasting time. Things like this pork roast, which is first butterflied, and then filled with some of my favorite ingredients: dried figs, freshly picked rosemary from our small tree-shaped rosemary bush, sautéed onions, garlic, and golden colored butternut squash. The entire roast is rolled, tied, and seasoned, and finally roasted in the oven until all of the ingredients are ripe with sweet & savory aromas.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is for the slower days, when life gifts you a bit of extra time. It really doesn’t take that long to make, but it fits well with a slow-paced day.

Fig, Butternut, and Rosemary Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

Sprigs of rosemary, thinly sliced dried figs, butternut squash, and onions are rolled into this tenderloin, making it look—and taste- fancy.

Serves: 6-8   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup dried figs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Baker’s twine or string
  • Optional - Mustard Creamy Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup milk, or milk alternative (like almond milk)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. First, butterfly the pork. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. With a clean knife, slice the onion. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Mince the garlic, and add it to the pan. Sprinkle with salt to get the onions to soften faster. Mince the rosemary, and stir it into the onion/garlic mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden
  3. While the onions cook, prepare the squash and figs: Peel the skin from the squash, and remove the stem. Cut in half, and remove the seeds. Use a large knife to cut the squash into 1/4 inch match sticks (like french fries). Place the cut squash in a steam basket in a pot with 1 inch of water. Cover, and place over medium heat, bringing water to a simmer. Steam squash until it’s softened through. Slice the figs horizontally into very thin pieces. Discard stems, and set sliced pieces aside.
  4. Cut four pieces of twine, long enough to be tied around the tenderloin. Assemble the pork loin: lay the butterflied tenderloin out on a cutting board in front of you, so that it lies flat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the filling ingredients in three rows, the long way: onions, squash, figs (I did not use all of the squash, and served leftovers as a side dish). Now, as if you were rolling sushi, firmly roll the tenderloin back up. Tie the roll closed with the reserved twine, and season with salt & pepper. Place tenderloin on baking pan and bake in over for 40-55 minutes— until a meat thermometer reads 160°F when inserted into the thicket part of the meat (time will vary depending on oven and thickness of tenderloin). Remove from oven, and allow to set 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, drizzled with mustard cream sauce.
  5. If you are making the sauce, right as the pork comes out of the oven — by the time the pork has set on the counter for 10 minutes, the sauce will be ready. Heat butter in a small pan until bubbling. Turn down the heat to low, add arrowroot powder, and use a wooden spoon to stir into the butter. A paste should form. Once arrowroot is mixed in well, add milk and mustard to the pan. Stir until fully incorporated, then bring to a light simmer. Cook until sauce is just thick enough to coat the back of your spoon. Remove from heat (sauce will continue to thicken as it cools — if it becomes too thick, stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached). Season with salt & pepper to taste.

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