I don’t actually like Fig Newtons, I never have. In fact, I don’t really even like figs. Their little seeds freak me out, it’s a texture thing. But, so many of my friends grew up loving these fig cookies that I had to give them one more try and I figured, why not try them for Tu B’Shvat since figs are one of the 7 species that we eat during the holiday!
So, here is my version of those famous Fig Newton cookies!
½ Cup butter, softened
½ Cup brown sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 ½ Cups whole wheat flour
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon cloves
¼ Teaspoon nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon baking soda
2 Cups dried black mission figs
½ Cup water
½ Cup freshly squeezed orange (about 2 oranges worth of juice)
½ Teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons honey
In the bowl of a stand mixer, on high speed, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Mix until just combined. Add in the flour, baking soda, and spices. Mix until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least an hour.
To make the filling, place all ingredients into a sauce pot, except for the honey. Heat over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the figs begin to plump and there is no liquid left in the pot.
While still warm, place the figs in a food processor. Pulse a few times to begin to chop the figs. Add in the honey and continue to pulse until a thick paste has formed.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the dough is chilled, roll out (on a floured surface) into a 10 inch by 14 inch rectangle. Cut the rough edges off so that you have a perfect rectangle of dough.
Cut the dough lengthwise into 3 even strips. Place the fig mixture into a gallon size ziploc bag and cut the corner to create a piping bag.
Pipe a continuous line of the fig filling down the center of each strip of dough. Fold the dough so that the two sides meet in the center. Pinch the seam to seal and roll to create a log of dough w/ the fig filling. Complete for the other 2 strips of dough.
Place the logs onto a greased cookie sheet and press down to create the iconic Fig Newton flat shape.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and while still warm, cut into 2 inch long cookies! Let cool and enjoy!