Homemade Fig Newtons
Sticking with the theme of the week, I made some Fig Newtons. I’m sure they’re still loaded with sugar and all sorts of crap, but by not being coated in a layer of chocolate, they always seemed like the healthy alternative. I was kind of a weird kid and actually loved Fig Newtons growing up.
The dough for these cookies is very good. When they first come out of the oven, they’re a bit crispy, but the next day they’re nice and soft. I felt that my cookies were a bit doughy and I would have liked the figgy filling to shine a bit more. If I made these again, I’d make less dough for the same amount of filling. I’ve those thoughts in the recipe below. If anyone makes these, let me know what you think of the ratio.
When I was buying the figs, I asked the employee at Trader Joe’s what the difference between the black and green ones was (I didn’t even know there were different colors of figs until then!). He told me the black ones were sweeter. I had no idea which would be better for this recipe, so I used 1 lb of green and 1 lb of black figs. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
For the Dough
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling
2 lbs fresh figs
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Make the dough
Cream together the butter, sugar and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl and paddle.
Add the egg white and vanilla and beat in. Scrape down the bowl and paddle again.
Add the flour and beat on low speed until the dough comes together.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Make the filling
Cut the figs in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. In a medium sauce pan, combine figs, sugar, and lemon juice. Mash mixture a few times with a potato masher or fork.
Cook mixture over medium-high heat until bubbling and sugar has dissolved; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until it has reduced by about one-third and is beginning to gel. Set aside until completely cool.
Assemble the Fig Newtons
Place racks in middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12 x 16 rectangle. Cut into 4 equal strips, each 12 x 4 inches. Spoon a line of filling down the center of each strip. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges together. Using a serrated knife, slice each log on the diagonal into 10 cookies. Place each cookie on the parchment-lined baking sheets, seam side down.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.