Fig Newtons (Cookies)

By DK on Aug 06, 2012
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
I first got to know of Fig newtons ages ago during my debut hike. Not used to so much exertion, I was bordering irritable. It dint help that my "company" kept insisting on the scenery.  Agreed, I am a Nature girl out and out, but amidst facing shocking reality ("waaiittaaaminute? You mean that's muscle pain? Whoa! I have Muscles?!!!"), I was not in the mood for any greenery (except for something on my plate!). I was utterly famished and my uber fit partner brings out some Fig Newtons from our back pack. I was like - "Nah! Can we have some food please?. Isn't it like lunch time already?". He quips -"Oh yes, it is. And that's what I am giving you - Lunch!".
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
Only non-hikers and/or foodies will be able to conjure up my face at that time. So, as you can see, not a great introduction to Fig newtons ;) Now, years later - I count myself amongst the hikers (err..at least Hiking wannabes!) and I can survive a day of hiking on such bars without losing my sanity. Bye bye naivety (and rusty muscles). So you can imagine my excitement, when I got to know that I can actually make these myself at home. This is actually my first attempt at making these and the cook in me is feeling uber proud. Like I climbed Mt.Everest (OK I am not THAT fit, yet!)
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
These are cakey with a nice chewiness to it, with that spiced fig jam giving it a delicious sweetness. Though the author of the original recipe insists on using dried figs to give that authentic Fig taste and for avoiding moisture from fresh figs, I couldn't help myself from using the homemade Fig and Ginger Preserve (Jam) I made few days earlier. That added to a nice moistness to these cookies. My little one and the Fig Newton Connoisseur in the house (the husband), loved these. You can use the dried fig filling as mentioned in the Tips section.
References

adapted from bravetart's recipe at serious eats

Basic Information
Prep Time: 2 to 4 hours
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Yield: Makes anywhere from 20-30 cookies depending on the size
Ingredients
    For the Dough
  • 8 oz (abt 1-3/4 cups/ 230 grams) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup/ 113.4 grams) unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 oz (1/2 cup/100 grams) Sugar
  • 1 oz (1 heapful tbsp/28 grams) raw Honey
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Orange zest
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 1 oz (abt 2 tbsp/28 grams) orange juice
Tips
1. Figs Jam : You can use any store bought jar or your own recipe for the Jam. Or you can use the recipe given at the original source where it combines 12 Oz dried black Mission figs, 2 oz unsweetened applesauce, 1-1/2 oz honey and 1/4 tsp cinnamon and pulsed until no chunks remain (smooth consistency).

If you want to Bake using Microwave pls refer to these articles:
1) How to Bake in Microwave
2) How to Bake in Microwave Convection Oven

For making Substitutions please refer my handy chart:
1) Baking substitutions
2) Egg Substitutions
Method
1
Sift the flour in a bowl.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
2
In another bowl, add the butter along with the sugar, honey,  baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
3
and cream together on medium speed
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
4
until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
5
Next add the egg yolks one at a time,
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
6
mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
7
Next add in the sifted flour all at once.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
8
Drizzle in the orange juice and beat the mixer on low.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
9
Continue mixing until just homogenous. The dough will be very soft and wet.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
10
Using a rubber spatula, transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
11
Fold the plastic over the dough and flatten into a disc. Refrigerate it for 4 hours or overnight.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
12
Since I used my homemade fresh Fig Preserve for this recipe, I pureed it
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
13
into smooth consistency to avoid fruit chunks in my filling.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
14
Making the Cookies: Preheat the oven to 325F.  Even after chilling the dough will be very soft.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
15
The original recipe source suggests  to roll the dough on a heavily floured surface to 1/4 " thickness and cut the dough into several 3 1/4" wide strips. After trying  3-4 times and giving up with a sticky dough ( no thanks to humidity, heat and mess in the kitchen  and "I want all your attention for myself" toddler in tow), I opted to pinch of a small ball of the chilled dough ( with the remaining in plastic wrap in fridge while I worked with this one), I rolled it to abt 4" width and abt 6 " length.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
16
Dust the surface off excess flour with a dry pastry brush.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
17
Place a strip of Fig filling in the center of the dough abt 1" wide.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
18
Now to folding the dough over the filling. If its difficult, you can use a (offset) spatula to assist you in this process.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
19
Lift one long end of the dough and fold it over the filling.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
20
Repeat for the other end.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
21
With your hands, you can pat down the bars and emphasize the shape. Dust off the excess flour with the brush like before
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
22
and place the cookies one by one on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  This folding is quite a work and you will see that you will improve with time.  You will see where I was enthusiastic, where I lost the patience and at what point my paining back said - "enough is enough" ;) But hey - lets forget that and say - Nothing better than a rustic looking home made Fig Newtons.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
23
Bake them for about 12 minutes or until puffed and light brown. They will be only slightly firm to touch and in case you find that they are still puffy and moist to touch, then bake them for few minutes more.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
24
Now trim them (as soon they are out from oven) into several 1"  long cookies. I wasn't really precise so to speak. I was too impatient to just pick one up and bite into it :)
Storage: The author suggests to transfer them into a plastic container (with a lid) while still warm. You can also use a zip lock bag. This is to slightly steam the cookies ensuring that they will remain soft and cake like from end to end. If you don't do this, its still tastes as good, with the Newtons taking on a lightly drier texture, more like a cookie and less cake like. The cookies will keep, at room temperature, for about two weeks.
Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
Since mine has a filling of fresh Jam, I asked Bravetart for the storing suggestion. She was kind enough to get back with a prompt reply - "I don't imagine that would change the shelf life dramatically. Maybe shorten it a bit because of the excess moisture making the cookies soft? If you have any concerns, just store the newtons in an airtight container, refrigerated; that should help them keep longer." But from the looks of it, guess I need not have worried, cos they are half empty already! Healthy Fig newtons Recipe | Whole wheat Baking Recipes
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20 Responses to “Fig Newtons (Cookies)”
  1. Lovely recipe. nice pictures.. Thanks for sharing.

  2. charanya

    pls suggest
    what other jams or stuffing can i use?

  3. charanya

    can i use chocolate sause instead of fig jam?

  4. Infiniteline

    Thanks for the recipe! However, we were having a bit of difficulty making the fig bars magically transform into sushi for step 18. Can you help us with that? 8-O

  5. This is exactly what I have been looking for! I have somehow got myself knee deep in fig preserves and figured that some smart cookie (or fruited cake) had done it before me: use it up filling a Newton. My fig preserves are a mistake, halfway scorched so now it all tastes a bit caramely, but still salvegeable!

  6. Hi DK – atlast i got to post my fig rolrecipe as wel. mine is eggless….nutritious snacks are what I am normally after. Figs are extremely good for our health and when combined with wholewheat, it makes a perfectly filling snack for the whole family. Fig rolls, now on http://tastefullyveggie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/fig-rolls-eggless.html

  7. amber

    :!: I divided the dough in half and made two rolls. I only had two eggs so I added half a banana for the other. They really turned out delicious. The dough is very tasty. I will make this again!

  8. Nark

    We used to be able to get Apricot Newtons from our Helm’s man. I loved them. so happy to try the dough recipe with Apricots.

  9. Wow, i just LOVE Fig Newtons. By the way, this cookies are also great with dates 8)

    Oh that’s an awesome idea! Thanks Coolcake :) –DK

  10. The name sounds like some missile! :lol: All cookies can be made without egg. Dried fig would be better option for egg less recipe.These look delicious!
    I have to catch up with all your recipes that I’ve missed!

    Now that you mention it, it does sound like a missile Lathamma :) How are u and Laks (and ur adorable pethi?) Its been ages indeed! –DK

  11. Wow – I never thought of making fig newtons from scratch. cooooul. I’ll be trying them out. As a non-hiker and a foodie, yes, I can imagine your face on that hike! :-x By the way, any chance you can tell me how you put your website url on the photos?

    I use a software called Photostudio to do that :) –DK

  12. amber

    :wink: It is fig season here in Mexico. I made the jam which my husband is crazy about. We are excited to try making these fig newtons tomorrow!!

  13. What beauties ! Would love to try it out…

  14. Neha

    Can we make this recipe without egg?
    Please advise if using banana as egg replacement should work?

    I am not sure – but its worth experimenting, I guess. Do check out my Tips section for the exhaustive Egg replacement list and how to’s –DK

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