Prep 25 mins
Cook 15 mins
These are delicious and just like the old "Fig Newtons" I remember from when I was a kid. Recipe comes from a very old tattered cookie book that no longer has a cover that belonged to my Mom. They were always a treat around Christmas time.
- 1⁄3 cup vegetable shortening, I use butter or 1⁄3 cup margarine
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 (8 ounce) package dried figs, stems removed (can sub dates if you wish, but the figs are supreme)
- 2⁄3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice or 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (I use splenda)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, beat together shortening, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy.
- Add all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, orange peel and salt, beating until blended.
- Refrigerate dough 1 to 2 hours.
- Prepare fig filling and set aside, see below.
- On a floured surface, roll dough into 14 inch square.
- Cut dough into 4 equal strips, each 14 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide.
- Spoon 1/4 of fig filling in a 1 1/2 inch wide mound down center of each strip.
- Using a long spatula, lift sides of each dough strip over filling, overlapping slightly on top.
- Press edges together to seal.
- Cut strips crosswise in half for ease of handling.
- Place, seam side down, 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
- Brush off any excess flour.
- Cut each strip into 7 (1 inch) crosswise pieces, but do not separate.
- Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until puffed and firm to the touch.
- Cool 5 to 10 minutes on baking sheets; then cut apart and remove to racks to cool completely.
- Fig Filling.
- In a medium saucepan, combine figs, water, lemon or orange juice and granulated sugar.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally; cool.
I am not going to assign stars but wanted to share my experience with these cookies. I made mine with shortening and the first time had some problems with the recipe. The dough was rather hard and not terribly pliable. Eventually I turned the dough and filling into a bar cookie and served it warm with a dollop of frozen non fat vanilla yogurt. It was so delicious and flavorful, I had to try again. After checking in with the posting chef, decided that it may have had something to do with the flour and the age of the recipe. (That's why pastry folks use weights not measures.) The second time I added all the ingredients except the flour and then measured that in 1/4 cup at a time alternating between whole wheat and all purpose flour. Eventually, the dough reached a perfect stage of firmness and softness at 1 cup whole wheat and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour. At that point I had to incorporate the last bit of flour by hand as the ball was to firm for my hand mixer. Chilled the dough was very easy to handle. Firm enough to roll, cut and fold but soft enough to yield a tender cookie. The cookies were perfectly baked at 14 minutes and well worth the effort. I was a little short on figs the second time so half were figs only and the other half a mix of figs and seedles raspberry preserves. The combination was awesome and I'm already contemplating other fruit fillings for the future. Would probably skip that last two tablespoons of flour next time, but will otherwise joyfully make these again. Thanks Derf.
We made this according to the recipe and thought the taste was great. The dough was not quite stiff enough even after using all the flour and chilling for 2 hours but it was workable, just had to generously flour the work surface. I will make a little more filling next time, maybe 50% more to make a fuller cookie. The recipe did not state to, but I put the cooked fig mixture into my blender to puree properly, otherwise it would have been very clumpy. Overall a great recipe.
These are an absolute treat! Got 2 thumbs up from DH and DD said 'NICE' as well! I had converted all the measurements to metrics which I am more comfortable with to be honest and I did not have any problems at all with the dough. Used lemon zest instead of orange zest since I put in lemon juice for the filling. I shall try with some dates the next time. Thank you, Derf, for sharing your wonderful recipe and goes without saying, definitely a keeper!