Okay, lets just clear this misnomer up right now: Fig Newtons are NOT healthy.
Even though the brand would like you to think they are a healthy choice for lunches and snacking, the cookies are not exactly good for you. Although they are probably a better option then lets say “nutter butters” or “chips ahoy” these classic cookies are only masquerading as nutritious.
Lets look at the ingredient list:
Unbleached Enriched Flour, Figs, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Soybean Oil, Whey (from Milk), Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Salt, Baking Soda, Cultured Dextrose, Calcium Lactate, Malic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sulfur Dioxide (Sulfites) added to preserve freshness.
Okay, so if I am reading this right, it contains not only one type of sugar, but THREE. Plus, hydrogenated oils.
Again, not so healthy.
Of course, the major reason I decided to make a homemade batch was because our family cannot handle the wheat. I figure if I am going to do this, why not make the recipe healthier… perhaps even “good for you”… while I am it, too.
For the Filling, you will need:
To make the filling, combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil on the stove top. Allow to simmer approximately 30 minutes until the figs are quite soft. Cool for about 15 minutes. Once cooled, add all contents of the sauce pan to a food processor and blend well until a smooth paste forms. Set aside or refrigerate for later.
Shopping List For the Dough:
- 1/2 cup Roland Quinoa Flour
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour. (I used my own blend which includes almond flour. You can find it in my book. Or, choose a ready-to-use brand, such as Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour.)
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon grated rind from an orange
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- Combine all of the wet ingredients and the white sugar in a stand mixer.
- Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Slowly add to the wet mixture and blend until smooth.
- Divide the dough into four equal portions and roll each into a ball. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
To assemble and bake:
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil. (The fig will leak out and create a sticky mess on the pan.)
- On a floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a long narrow piece. (Approximately 10 inches x 4-ish inches.) The dough should be on the thin-side, similar to pie crust. (I used almond flour for flouring the surface, which lent to a more almond-y flavor and a slight texture to the cookie. You can use regular flour, though.)
- Down the middle of each dough log, place a 1/4 of the fig filling and smooth out across the dough.
- Fold each long side of the dough to meet in the center of the cookie, and press down lightly to create a “seal” for the filling. (A little will still leak out.)
- Cut each log into newton-sized strips, about two inches wide. Transfer cookie, seam-side down, to a prepared baking sheet. The cookies can be pretty tight as they do not expand much.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until golden! Cool directly on the pan before removing. Enjoy!