Fig Newtons

Fig Newtons
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Fig Newtons (now called simply Newtons now) are love-it-or-hate-it kind of cookies. Seriously, people are very divided about this fig-focused sweet treat, but I love them. Fig Newtons, and Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, have become synonymous with being a kid in the 70’s/80’s. Nabisco Fig Newtons in my paper bag lunch, alongside my ham and mayo on white bread, tells a familiar story to many people my age. But Fig Newtons were not just cookies, they’re fruit and cake-like and therefor right up my ally.

fig newtons

Despite my love of these old timers (as well as absolutely anything involving figs). Surprisingly, I’ve never attempted to make them, until now. This was a fun project for me, coming up with a balance of soft cakey outside and sweet fig-forward inside that had just enough flavor to bring the whole cookie together in a balanced way.

fig newtons

What Makes My Fig Newtons “Different”?

My recipe incorporates a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour to obtain the texture I was in search of. Health-wise, I also felt better  adding some whole wheat flour to my recipe. I did try using just whole wheat flour, but it did not yield the cookie taste and texture I was looking for.

To sweeten my cookies I used combination of brown sugar, agave and fresh orange juice. For the filling, combined dried mission figs, dried dates, apple sauce, as well as orange juice, which allows for a more naturally (not overly) sweet paste that holds up while baking and compliments the cakey-cookie outside perfectly.

fig newtons

Despite fig newtons are a two-step process, because you need to make a dough and a filling, the assembly process could not be simpler. Roll, fill and fold is all that’s needed. Cut the fig newtons to the desired size after baking. Alongside a cup of coffee in the morning, these modern newtons are well worth it if you ask me.

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Fig Newtons

January 9, 2020
: about 40
: 1 hr 30 min
: 15 min
: 1 hr 45 min
: medium

By:

Ingredients
  • For the Dough:
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 cups dried mission figs, checked for stems
  • 1/2 cup dried dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
Directions
  • Step 1 For the Dough: Using a food processor, such as a Cusinart, fitted with a blade attachment, add the butter, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and agave and beat until fluffy, scrapping down the sides as needed, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the orange juice, egg and egg yolk and beat on medium to blend. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the whole wheat and all-purpose flour. Mix well. Form the dough into a round disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Step 2 For the Filling: Using the same kitchen mixer bowl (no need to clean it) add the figs, dates, apple sauce, orange juice, salt. Cinnamon and coconut sugar and process till a tick, slightly smooth paste has formed. Be sure to scrape down the sides once or twice to break up any big chunks. Dive the filling into 4 equal pieces. Using your hands, working on a large cutting board gently form/roll into 13-inch ropes. Set aside.
  • Step 3 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place near your work area
  • Step 4 Assembling the Fid Newtons: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into 4 equal pieces. Allow to warm up slightly.
  • Step 5 Place piece of parchment paper at your work station. Place a piece of dough on top of the parchment. Place a second piece of parchment paper on top pf the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll of the dough into a 13×13-inch rectangle. Remove the top piece of parchment and place a filling roll on top of the dough in the middle. Lift the bottom parchment in a cradle like fashion, folding one side of the dough up over the filling. Gently press down to adhere. Repeat with the second side of dough overlapping with the first piece slightly.
  • Step 6 Gently transfer the cookie log onto the prepared baking sheet leaving enough room for an additional three logs. Don’t worry if any cracks develop in the dough, simply pinch the dough together to seal and move on. Repeat the above process with the remaining dough and filling.
  • Step 7 Place in the oven and bake, rotating once, until puffed, slightly browned and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing.
  • Step 8 Store in an airtight container which helps to further develop the cakey-like texture desired.

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