Home Made Fig Newtons
I think you are either a Fig Newton lover… or not. But let’s forget about those people, as I am a Fig Newton lover. I have the most wonderful, nostalgic associations with this classic cookie. It was the only “packaged” sweet I remember being allowed as a kid, (I honest to God had my first Oreo in college, but that is a different story) and boy did we love them.
They are soft and chewy and soooo good. Creamy vanilla dough and a textured, sweet, figgy filling! A great cookie for your kids lunches, or for the grown ups that grew up eating them!
1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
¾ cup white sugar
1 ½ large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ AP flour
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg whites and vanilla and mix until well combined. Slowly add in the flour and mix until there is a smooth, uniform dough.
Like a sugar cookie dough, I formed this into a smooth disc, wrapped it in saran wrap and put it into the refrigerator to chill. You could let it chill for an hour, or up to several days depending on your schedule.
1 cup of dried mission figs, (that is how many come in your average store purchased package of dried figs)
2 cups good quality apple juice
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
Finely chop the dried figs with a sharp knife.
In a small sauce pan, combine the figs with the sugar, juice and water.
Mix everything together and simmer uncovered about an hour, or until the figs are soft and most of the liquid has been reduced to a syrupy consistency.
Wait for the mixture to cool slightly and then add them to the bowl of a food processor.
Puree the figs until they make a paste.
Refrigerate the puree until cold, a few hours and up to a few days.
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare one large sheet pan with a silpat or a sheet of parchment paper.
Cut the disc of dough in half, and on a floured surface, roll out each half into an approximately 12×8” rectangle. Trim the edges with a sharp knife so that it is an even rectangle.
Cut this in half, so that you have two long strips, approximately 12×4”.
Spread ¼ of the fig mixture down the center of each of the strips.
Fold the edges over so that they meet, and lightly seal them together.
Turn the “log” over, so that the seam is on the bottom of the cookies.
Transfer (carefully!!!) the logs to the sheet pan.
Using a sharp knife (I think a serrated knife works best) cut the logs evenly into about 2” long bars.
Repeat this with the additional dough and fig filling.
Bake the fig bars until they are barely golden, but still quite pale. This took about 20 minutes, but every oven is different so keep an eye out after the 15 minute mark.
Store these in an airtight container after cooling.
Truth be told these were better the second day, and just continued to get better and better! These were good up to a week after I made them. After that I can’t vouch! Because we ate them all ☺