Fig-topped fleur de sel cookies

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes about 32 cookies
Fig-topped fleur de sel cookies

Combine the honey and one-half cup of the plum wine in a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling. Add the figs and reduce the heat to barely simmering. Cook until the figs are tender, about 5 minutes. Pour into a glass bowl and allow to cool, or cover and chill overnight.


Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the fleur del sel. Set aside.


Cream the butter until light. Add the sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the vanilla and the egg. Add the flour-baking powder mixture and beat until blended. Gather the dough into a ball and divide it in half.


Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured surface to one-fourth-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch scalloped cutter, cut out cookies. Repeat with the remaining dough.


Transfer the cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle a little fleur del sel on each cookie. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 9 to 12 minutes. Cool.


Heat together the fig jam and the remaining 1 tablespoon plum wine, stirring to blend.


Using a large fluted tip with a pastry bag, pipe about 2 teaspoons of mascarpone cheese onto each cookie. Use a slotted spoon to lift the figs out of the liquid and place one on each cookie. Spoon a little warm jam-wine mixture on the top.


Sprinkle several shiso leaf strips over the top of each cookie.

From Donna Deane, Times Test Kitchen director. Find shiso leaves at Japanese markets.

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