The Italians often make their pastries with a savory or pumpkin filling. But for Purim, which arrives close to spring after perhaps we’ve grown a little tired of the winter squashes (or anything winter, for that matter) and which often calls for the exchange of sweet treats, my imagination conjured a sweet, festive version.
Start puff pastry thawing according to the package directions. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the figs, cognac or brandy, honey, cinnamon stick halves, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about five minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Remove and discard cinnamon stick halves.
In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone and cornstarch. Stir in the figs, leaving any liquid behind in the pan and setting it aside (don’t discard).
Unfold the puff pastry dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll to a 14-x-10-inch rectangle. Cut into 12 squares. Place a scant one tablespoonful of filling in the middle of each square, and, if using chocolate, lightly press one chocolate piece into the middle of the filling. Brush the edges of the square with the beaten egg, and fold the dough over the filling to make a triangle. Pinch ends firmly and use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges to seal. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush the pastry tops with beaten egg.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. While the pastries bake, make the glaze by adding the cognac and vanilla to the remaining fig mixture juices in the pan, and stir to combine. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and stir in this liquid slowly just until the mixture becomes smooth enough to drizzle. If more liquid is needed, mix in water a few drops at a time.
When the pastries have cooled slightly, lightly drizzle the glaze over the top and serve them warm. The filling stays very hot for awhile, so be careful.
This recipe originally appeared on Meatballs And Matzah Balls