I made that!

Fig Newtons!

Posted in All Sugar All The Time, Don't BUY it, MAKE it! by brandi on November 22, 2010

Ummm… I know what you’re thinking. “Brandi: It’s November, Thanksgiving time. For crying out loud, it’s SNOWING in Seattle today, and you’re talking about figs.” It’s true, I’m terribly not of the season today. But you see, these figs — albeit from California — they were THERE. Left over from a fantastic dessert we were running at Delancey a few weeks ago, they were all lonely in the fridge, obviously uncomfortable sitting next to the pears and Meyer lemons, knowing their time was over. So I took them home to show them some respect. And by respect I mean I made fig newtons.

Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I went bonkers for fig newtons as a kid. The Nabisco kind were regular visitors in my lunch box and I was loyal to the fig flavor, even though I didn’t know what a fig was. As my palette grew up, the fig newtons were left behind. I tried them again a few years ago and had one of those “Have these gotten worse, or am I a complete food snob now” moments. I figured their time was finished and moved on. Until this summer when Pastry Studio (my pastry blog hero) wrote about them on her blog. I bookmarked it for a later date and promptly forgot. Until those lonely little figs called out to me.

First I made a food processor dough with some whole wheat flour in the mix, as well as some milk.

I let the dough chill while I got to work chopping up those figs.

I cooked the figs into a jam flavored with vanilla bean, honey and lemon.

Then several days later I finally got back around to assembling the little guys. I rolled out the dough into a long rectangle and smeared on some of the jam.

I folded in the edges to enclose the jam.

And sliced it into little newtons.

I baked them with a little sugar on top until they were nice and golden.

And then I stacked them up and took pretty pictures with Molly’s camera (thanks Molly!), because I accidentally left mine in San Francisco. Her lens is much better than mine and I now have camera envy. But back to the fig newtons. Oh. My. They were perfect. And that dough! Pastry studio, you just rocked my dough world.

FIG NEWTONS RECIPE, inspired by Pastry Studio:

Yield: 24 cookies


3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup AP flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 TBSP brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

6oz cold butter

1/4 cup whole milk


1 lb 2 oz figs

3 TBSP water

1/4 cup honey

3 TBSP sugar

1/4 vanilla bean

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp lemon juice

– Place the flours, sugars and salt in a food processor and process to combine. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse the mixture until the butter is in very small pieces. Add the milk and pulse until the mixture begins to look more like dough and less like sand.

– Shape the dough into a rectangle and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least an hour.

– Slice open the vanilla bean and rub the seeds into the sugar. Cut the stems off the figs and chop into small chunks. Place them in a saucepan with the water, honey, vanilla sugar, vanilla bean pod, salt and lemon zest. Cook on medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook the fruit slowly and gently for about 15-20 minutes or until the fruit is jammy, stirring every few minutes and adding a bit more water if necessary to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Remove the vanilla bean pods and use an immersion blender to pulse a few times to smooth out large pieces of fig. Store in the refrigerator until completely chilled.

– When everything is chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured board. Slice lengthwise into 3 strips. Rewrap 2 of the strips and place back in the fridge. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour and roll out to a rectangle measuring 12” x 4”. Work quickly, running an offset spatula under the dough to make sure it isn’t sticking to the board and dusting lightly with flour whenever necessary. When you have the finished rectangle, place the dough onto a parchment lined baking tray in the fridge. Repeat with the other 2 pieces of dough. Chill the rolled dough in the fridge for another 10 minutes.

– Remove one rectangle from the fridge and lay back on the floured board. Spread some of the fig jam lengthwise along the center of the dough. Gently lift the dough sides over the fruit. Cinch the edges together to completely seal the jam. Use your hands to press down slightly on the dough to smooth out the jam within. It’s ok if some oozes out the ends. Cut into slices and place on a parchment lines sheet pan. Chill in the fridge while you repeat with the other 2 strips of dough. Once finished, chill for another 30 minutes.

– Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle the bars with sugar and bake for about 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 and bake until nicely browned, about 20 more minutes.

– Remove from the oven and cool completely.


15 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Kasey said, on November 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I’m obsessed with figs – I don’t care what time of year it is! Homemade fig newtons sound amazing…

  2. Lori said, on November 23, 2010 at 8:34 am

    How fun! I am not a baker so I hope to inspire my daughter to make some for me! I loved fig newtons when I was little but these look much better and tasty! Yum!

  3. pastrystudio said, on November 24, 2010 at 8:42 am

    OMG, your cookies are gorgeous and your photos are delectable! I’m always so happy to learn about more fig fans out there.

    Thanks so much for mentioning my blog and for your gracious support. And enjoy those cookies!

  4. Amrita said, on November 26, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Yum! They remind me of strawberry pop-tarts I used too stack up on during my college days. The whole wheat dough seems really interesting – I’m putting that on my ‘try out’ list!

  5. linda said, on November 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    these “babies” look fantastic! cannot wait to try my hand @ them!
    we love figs! what type of honey did you use?
    & judging from your photo these are thin newtons (which i really like)…
    thanks brandi for the link to pastry studio….

  6. Alli said, on November 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Holy cow these look good! Any excuse to use figs, and I am there!

  7. Dana said, on December 6, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    What a great idea, I would have never thought of making a home made version. I bet these would be great!

  8. zuccaazzurra said, on December 25, 2010 at 1:41 am

    yummmmmmm, figs are my fav…, will try it in the summer when figs are abundant, oh yes and thanks for sharing…have a great day…

  9. Apron-clad Warrior said, on January 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Thank you on behalf of my hubby who counts fig newtons as his FAVOURITE food in the world….yes, they are a food group in his eyes!

  10. TENINA said, on January 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    These are so cute! Well done. Great idea…just recieved a bounty of figs from my sisters tree, this is officially on the list!

  11. Audrey said, on March 22, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Mmm… like home-made pop tarts. You are such a genius with food. Your food style really resonates with me. Keep up the amazing work.

  12. T. Crockett said, on April 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    As a kid I considered Fig Newtons some sort of adult inspired torture. How else to explain making something that looked so tasty, but wasn’t.

    Your recipe however, has me wondering if our local grocery store has any figs in. And if they don’t, could I make this with the dried figs in my cabinet? In short, I want to try this right now. Thanks.

  13. Lynne said, on April 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    these look amazing and my daughter absolutely loves Fig Newtons! I can’t wait to make them for her when she comes home from college.
    Can I put the recipe on my blog and link it back to you?

  14. Lisa Foster said, on July 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Yes… I Like the way this recipe Sounds, I am Gonna try it…I Have Bunch Of Fine Looking Figs to work with right now.~<3

  15. […] black mission figs with honeyed goat cheese from The Paleo Project homemade fig newtons from I made that! fig & prosciutto grilled cheese from Wright Time for a Schnack crunchy […]

Leave a Reply to Dana Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: