Homemade Fig Newtons

Three homemade fig newtons on a black background.

There’s something magic about prunes, walnuts, and cinnamon wrapped up in this orange scented dough. Just like Fig Newtons, but better!

Welcome to 2019

Welcome to my first post of 2019! Can you believe it? What’s even more amazing is that next year will be 2020. It all still sounds so futuristic to me, like we should all be riding around in flying cars and getting meal pellets from a vending machine. Thank goodness we aren’t!

What are your hopes and dreams for this year? Do you have some major goals that you’d like to achieve? Alternatively, is this the year you slow down, unplug and reconnect? As always I have some food trends that I would love to see happen in 2019…

My 2019 Food Predictions

I’m not psychic or anything so I guess these aren’t really predictions but more like trends that I have begun to see or would like to see in the year 2019. This may be a bit late to the game but I think cauliflower is going to still be hot, especially within in the ‘keto’ realm. I’m experimenting a bit with whole cauliflower at the moment, so stay tuned for a cauliflower recipe in the near future. Other vegetables that I’d like to see highlighted are Aliums of any kind (onions, leeks, chives, spring onion, etc.) utilized in exciting new ways and bitter greens. Now that I’m getting older, my palate is changing and I’ve come to appreciate this often ignored flavour component.

There's something magic about prunes, walnuts, and cinnamon wrapped up in this orange scented dough. New flavours form a new favourite classic cookie. Just like Fig Newtons, but better! #fignewtons #fakefignewtons #copycatrecipe #cookies

Waste Not Want Not

Enough with the veggie forward 2019 trends, let’s talk about food waste. I’ll be the first to say that I am guilty of food waste. In this day and age, the world’s food systems cannot sustain our current population with the amount of food waste that goes on. It’s a ridiculous and disgusting waste of precious resources. Stepping off my soap box for a while, the wasting of food that goes on in my own kitchen really makes me sad. I don’t know how fruits and vegetables go off so quickly but I’ve composted my last mushy cucumber and tossed my last brown cilantro! In 2019 I’m turning a new leaf, a fresh one if you will.

There's something magic about prunes, walnuts, and cinnamon wrapped up in this orange scented dough. New flavours form a new favourite classic cookie. Just like Fig Newtons, but better! #fignewtons #fakefignewtons #copycatrecipe #cookies

Newtonian Inspiration

Christmas morning breakfast was a simple, yet stunning Christmas Star Bread. I was so proud when I placed it in front of the in laws. It looked absolutely gorgeous and tasted quite nice too. I’ll be working on that post soon but for now I have included the recipe for the filling below. The recipe made more than enough filling for the star bread so I saved the rest to use later. As soon as our holiday company cleared out, I set to work on a filled cookie recipe that is reminiscent of Fig Newtons. If you like Fig Newtons, you will love these Fake Newtons!

There's something magic about prunes, walnuts, and cinnamon wrapped up in this orange scented dough. New flavours form a new favourite classic cookie. Just like Fig Newtons, but better! #fignewtons #fakefignewtons #copycatrecipe #cookies

Why Are They Called Fig Newtons?

Fun Fact: Fig Newtons DO contain figs but aren’t named after Sir Isaac Newton like you might suspect. They were originally made by the F. A. Kennedy Steam Bakery in Cambridgeport Massachusetts but named after a nearby town. Fig Newtons have been around for 121 years but went through a re-brand of sorts in 2012. The word ‘Fig’ was dropped to get around the stigma of figs being thought of as a ‘geriatric fruit’. New varieties were introduced (such as blueberry and mango-strawberry) but the classic [fig] Newton remains the favourite of many.

There's something magic about prunes, walnuts, and cinnamon wrapped up in this orange scented dough. New flavours form a new favourite classic cookie. Just like Fig Newtons, but better! #fignewtons #fakefignewtons #copycatrecipe #cookies

The Dough

Don’t be alarmed by the softness of the dough in this recipe. Just add as much flour as you need (within reason) to stop it from sticking to surfaces. You’re going to love the flavour of this dough; the orange juice concentrate really packs a punch! This dough would be great as a rolled cut cookie, though you’d have to refrigerate it before cutting. You don’t have to use my filling, feel free to experiment on your own or bake up some classic Fig Newtons.

Pin it HERE.There's something magic about prunes, walnuts, and cinnamon wrapped up in this orange scented dough. New flavours form a new favourite classic cookie. Just like Fig Newtons, but better! #fignewtons #fakefignewtons #copycatrecipe #cookies

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If you make these Homemade Fig Newtons, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 8

Homemade Fig Newtons

A stack of three homemade fig newtons against a black background.

There's something magic about prunes, walnuts, and cinnamon wrapped up in this orange scented dough. New flavours form a new favourite classic cookie.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING

  • 2 cups pitted prunes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup walnuts; chopped

FOR THE DOUGH

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter; room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice concentrate (not watered down)

Instructions

FOR THE FILLING

  1. Add all ingredients (except the sugar) to a small pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Give the mixture a stir. Cover and let slowly simmer on med-low for about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir again and check the consistency of the mixture. If you feel like it has firmed up enough (it should mound like peanut butter on a spoon) and most of the water is gone, remove from heat.
  5. Mash the prunes with a potato masher until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Stir in the brown sugar and let cool.

FOR THE DOUGH

  1. Cream the sugar and room temperature butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add honey, vanilla, egg yolks, and orange juice to the creamed butter/sugar mix. Scrape down sides of bowl to make sure all is incorporated.
  4. With the mixing paddle running, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  5. Turn out onto a cool surface and knead a bit by hand. Use as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers/surfaces.

TO ASSEMBLE

  1. On a piece of floured parchment paper, roll the dough out into a 40 cm x 15 cm rectangle. Try to get it as even as you can. Yes, you can use a ruler!
  2. With damp hands, shape a handful of the filling into a long rectangle, about 4 cm wide and place it in the centre of the dough lengthwise.
  3. Repeat until you have filling all the way down the centre of the dough.
  4. Carefully fold one side of the dough over the filling. It might help to use a bench scraper. Then fold the other side over.
  5. Transfer filled dough 'snake' and parchment onto a baking sheet. If your kitchen is quite warm and the dough is quite soft place it in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.
  6. Bake at 350 F until they are firm and lightly golden. Start with 12 minutes, then increase as needed.
  7. Remove from oven and slide the cookie off the pan. Slice into even pieces using a metal bench scraper or knife.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 420Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 93mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 5gSugar: 34gProtein: 6g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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10 comments

  1. [email protected]

    I would be so thrilled to try your Better than Fig Newtons recipe, Bernice. That kind of cookie really appeals to me and your photographs are very enticing! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us. I will be sure to try it.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you so much Denise! It’s kind of funny because it really was just an experimental use of leftovers that turned into a winner!Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Philip - Chef Sous Chef

    I always loved fig newtons as a kid, so I’m excited to know what a “Fake Newton” will taste like. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I based my filling on one of my favourite local pastries. After the bakery moved locations they stopped making my favourite prune scrolls and I’ve been craving them so much. Thanks for visiting Philip!

  3. Elaine

    love the touch of orange in there, too. This is a keeper recipe! And I SO agree with you about food waste. It’s up to us all to eliminate that and starting off 2019 with that goal in mind is a good plan!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      The orange really makes the dough. I’m looking forward to experimenting with the dough in different ways!

  4. Nicoletta De Angelis Nardelli

    Love both the filling and the dough in this “fake” Newtons! These are my kind of cookies! P.s. I do hope bitter greens which I adore and have been eating since childhood get a deserved spotlight. I’ll do my best to shed some light! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Please do! I know they’re a very ‘Italian’ flavour and I’m looking forward to seeing your bitter greens recipes.

  5. Kathryn | Urban Foodie Kitchen

    Love this! These were a favorite when I was a kid but have not had them in years. Would be so fun to make them!!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It sure was. Most people think that it’s the filling that makes these unique but I really love this dough. It has so much flavour!

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