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If you love fig newtons you are going to love these sweet rolls.  Peel away the layers of this sweet brioche dough to find a sticky fig walnut paste that reminds you of the newtons you always loved.  The maple icing over top goes well with the fig flavors and makes your fingers sticky delicious!  I have to send a Thank You to Joan for the figs as she always sends home a treat whenever we visit.  My guys thought the figs were up for grabs and as I started seeing them disappear I set aside a small amount to make sweet rolls.  Getting started on the brioche dough a day ahead made the rest a breeze.



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I got started on the brioche dough a day ahead so it’s chillin in the fridge for now.  The filling includes dried figs, walnuts, water, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, heavy cream and a bit of lemon zest.


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Start by trimming the ends of the figs.  They slice off easily with a knife.


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In a medium sized saucepan, heat a cup of water with the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir the pot and bring to a low boil.


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Add the figs and let it continue to simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.  Continue to stir every few minutes while the liquids thicken.


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In the meantime I’m going to zest a lemon.  I think next time I would adjust the amount to about half as much zest.


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Also run the walnuts through a food processor to chop the walnuts.  I chopped them fine but you can go coarser if you like.


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After 15 minutes the figs are soft and the liquid has thickened into a syrup.


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Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream.


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Next I ran the fig mixture through the food processor along with the lemon zest.  I would have shown you the process but I had a little mishap and made a big mess.  Lets just say . . . hold the lid down tight!


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Next add the walnuts and gently mix together.


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Sticky goodness!


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I found it easiest to make two rolls so I took half of the dough and formed it into a rectangle.  Make sure to generously flour your surface and as you incorporate the flour it makes it easier to work with and roll out. When you have placed your rolls in the pan, make the next log.


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Roll out the dough to make a rectangle shape approximately 14″ X 12″.  It’s debatable whether mine is a rectangle or not!


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Melt a couple tablespoons of butter and brush the dough.


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Take about half the fig walnut filling and spread across the dough leaving a 1 inch border.  I found using a spatula to spread the filling quite easy.


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Start rolling one side and continue until you have a log.  Take a sharp knife and cut 1 inch slices.


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Prep a baking pan by smearing a pat of butter over all sides of the pan.  You can use any number of baking dishes but I made my rolls in three 9 inch round cake pans.


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Set your rolls in the pan cut side up.  Brush a little melted butter over top of the rolls.  Leave enough room in between so they can rise.  Set them in a warm place for 20 minutes or so until they double in bulk.  When they are ready, place them into a 375 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes.  This pan had only 7 rolls but the other two had 8.  Almost got  24 rolls!


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Warm from the oven and ready for some icing.


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While the rolls are cooling I’m making a simple icing from powdered sugar, maple syrup, half and half and a small splash of vanilla.


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Sift the powdered sugar, add the maple syrup, half and half and vanilla and start stirring.


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I like it nice and thick to go over the rolls but if it’s too thick, just add a little more half and half until you get the consistency you want.


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I took the spatula and started drizzling over the rolls.  How easy is that!


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I can’t wait to put one on my plate and start peeling off the layers!


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Sweet Rolls with Fig and Walnuts

Brioche Dough
1 cup Dried Figs, trimmed of the top stems
1 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Water
4 tablespoons Butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
Zest of 1/2 Lemon

Maple Icing

2 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
3 tablespoons Half and Half
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

Make the brioche dough in advance allowing approximately 2 hours to rise and then refrigerated at least 3 hours.  This dough recipe will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Heat a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil 1 cup water plus the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.  When mixture begins to boil, turn down the heat to medium and add the figs.  Simmer at a low boil for 15 minutes until mixture becomes syrupy.

Transfer to a food processor, add the lemon zest and puree.   Mix in the chopped walnuts into the puree to make a paste.

On a large floured surface roll out half of the brioche dough into a 14″ x 12″ rectangle.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and lightly brush butter over dough.  Spread half of the fig and walnut paste over the dough leaving a 1 inch border around the edges.  Start rolling the dough to form a log.  Cut 1 inch slices and place cut size up in a buttered baking dish (I used three 9″ round cake pans).  Brush any remaining butter over the top of the rolls.  Leave enough space around each roll to rise.  Make the 2nd log with the remaining ingredients.  Set rolls in a warm place allowing dough to double in bulk, around 20 – 30 minutes.  When ready, bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes.

Make maple icing by whisking together powdered sugar, maple syrup, half and half and vanilla.  If the mixture is too thick add a little half and half until the consistency is to your liking.

Using a spatula, drizzle maple icing over the sweet rolls.

Makes approximately 24 rolls.