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DECEMBER 2013 Homemade Holidays: Bake Festive Fig Desserts (Family Features) Whether you’re hosting a family dinner or making a dessert for

a friend’s party, bring something special to the holiday table with these amazing dessert recipes. Each delicious bite stars the unique flavor only found in figs. With their rich honey-like sweetness and delightfully crunchy edible seeds, figs

take foods from good to great. Available year-round from Valley Fig Growers, Cali- fornia dried figs are ready to eat right out of the package or can be easily diced, sliced or poached for cooking and baking. For more holiday recipes, visit www.val-

Chocolate Ganache Tart with Glazed Figs and Nuts

Makes 8 to 10 servings 1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature

1 cup packed (6 ounces) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs, stemmed and halved* 2/3 cup water 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons almond-, hazelnut- or orange-flavored liqueur 1/2 cup whipping cream 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup unsalted or lightly salted mixed nuts (omit peanuts and select hazelnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, almonds and pecans) Whipped cream, optional Preheat oven to 450°F. Unroll pie crust and press into bottom and up side of 10-

inch tart pan with removable bottom. Prick all over with fork. Bake until light brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Cool on rack. In small saucepan, combine figs and water. Bring to boil over high heat, then re-

duce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and simmer, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in liqueur. Let steep 10 minutes. Strain figs through fine-meshed sieve, reserving syrup. While figs cool, in small saucepan, bring cream to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until smooth. Spread over baked crust. Refrigerate 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to firm up but is not set. Alternate fig slices and nuts in concentric circles on tart, pressing slightly into chocolate to secure. Chill 2 hours or up to 1 day. To serve, brush figs and nuts with reserved syrup. Remove side from tart pan and place tart on platter. Cut into wedges. Top with whipped cream, if desired. *Cut large figs (greater than 1 1/4-inch diameter at the base) into three lengthwise


German Chocolate Cake with Broiled Fig & Coconut Topping

Makes 2 single-layer cakes Cake:

1 18 1/4-ounce German Chocolate Cake Mix (Check cake mix for additional ingredients — oil, eggs, water)

Fig-Coconut Topping:

1 cup stemmed, chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup butter 6 tablespoons whipping cream 1 cup flaked coconut 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans Follow package directions and pre-

pare two 8-inch round cakes. Bake and cool as directed. For topping, in medium saucepan

combine figs, sugar, butter and cream. Stir over medium heat until mixture

comes to a simmer. Simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in coconut and pecans. Spread warm topping on top of each cake layer, dividing evenly. Place one cake at a time on baking

sheet or heatproof pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 15 to 30 seconds, or until topping bubbles, watching con- stantly. Remove from oven. Repeat with second cake. Cool. Transfer cakes to serving plates to serve.

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