I love fig newtons. I tried several recipes and finally, after some trial and error, framed this excellent recipe. These newtons are, of course, vegan but they’re also sugar free and whole wheat and they’re so delicious, nutritious, healthy, and satisfying.
I put orange zest and some orange juice in the dough to give it that distinctive flavor we are all familiar with in fig newtons; and the filling is extremely simple and snappy to prepare. The dough needs to rest for at least six hours so I’d advise to start a day ahead. You can make the filling even five days ahead and keep it refrigerated.
The recipe yields about 24 cookies that you can store in a container with a tight lid and keep in a cool dry place for up to a week – though I should warn you: 24 cookies hardly last that long! They’re addictive and let me remind you they’re sugar free!
Preparation time: 8 hours
Yield: 24 cookies
Vegan / Sugar Free / Whole Wheat
FOR THE DOUGH
9 Tbsp vegan butter (recipe here or you can use store bought)
1/2 cup monkfruit sugar or xylitol or regular sugar if you don’t mind the calories
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax seed meal mixed with 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp water)
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 cup orange juice
FOR THE FILLING:
1 1/2 cup dried mission figs or dried blueberry or slow, uncovered baked pumpkin
1/2 cup peeled and diced granny smith apple
1/4 cup monkfruit sugar, or xylitol, or regular sugar
1 tsp arrow root starch, or potato starch, or corn starch
(1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice for the pumpkin filling)
Make the dough:
Place the butter, sweetener, baking soda, cinnamon, orange zest, vanilla extract, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle and beat at medium speed until fluffy – about 4 minutes.
Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula add the flax egg and continue mixing until thoroughly well combined.
Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour all at once. Allow the flour to just combine with the whipped butter (15 seconds) then follow immediately with the orange juice. Mix until combined – do not over mix.
The dough will be somewhat soft. Place it in a zip-lock bag or on a sheet of plastic wrap, form the dough in rectangular shape, seal, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours – best if overnight.
Make the filling:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. You should obtain a rather thick paste but soft enough to pipe through a pastry bag. If you refrigerate it a this point be sure to remove from the refrigerator 2 hours ahead to allow it to soften again.
Make the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the dough in 2 manageable pieces, keep one refrigerated as you roll out the other into a 1/4″ thick sheet. Use additional flour to avoid the dough sticking to the table. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough in three 3″ wide strips.
Pipe a 1″ wide and 1/4″ thick strip of the filling along the center of each strip of dough – you can flatten the strip down with your finger afterwards.
Lift the dough along one side and roll the log over. Let the dough double up at the bottom. Place the log on the baking sheet and move on to the next strip.
Bake the logs for approximately 20 minutes or until the cookies have puffed and lightly browned.
Cut the logs in 1″ long individual cookies immediately while still warm and stack them in a container separating them with a sheet of parchment paper. Seal the container with its tight lid while the cookies are still warm. This is necessary to obtain a soft and chewy cake-like texture as they will steam inside the container while stacking them onto each other will allow the bend on the sides giving them their classic shape.