January 21, 2011

Whole Wheat Fig Newtons

Sometimes, I get cravings for Fig Newtons.  I have no explanation for why this happens; I didn't particularly like them as a kid and, quite frankly, I don't think I'd particularly like them now, but they have some kind of hold over me.  Perhaps, it's their guise of wholesomeness or the fact that I'm actually 80 years old.  Who knows, but I've found that most of the processed foods I enjoyed when I was a kid don't do much for me now.  These, however, are a different story.

I haven't had regular Fig Newtons in a long time, so I can't give you a completely accurate comparison, but I can guarantee you these are 100% better for you.  They may be able to be improved with an egg wash or by being sliced before baking but overall, I was happy with how they turned out.  Not my favorite cookie (are Fig Newtons really anyone's favorite cookie?) but pretty darn good.  If you're in the mood for a wholesome treat, give 'em a try!

Filling some mini Newtons
Pressing the sides together
Ready for the oven!
All done :)

Whole Wheat Fig Newtons
Adapted from EatLiveRun, makes about 40 cookies

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 ounces butter, softened
1/2 cup + 2 T brown sugar, packed
1 T cream or half and half
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

For filling:
2 cups dried figs, stems chopped off
3/4 cup warm water
2- 3 tablespoons maple syrup

For Filling: Place the figs and warm water in the bowl of a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms.  Add the maple syrup to taste and process until incorporated.

For the dough:
Preheat the oven to 350F.  Cream together the brown sugar and butter. Add the cream and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until a soft dough forms (be careful not to over-mix). Turn dough out onto a floured countertop and form a smooth ball. [Note: the original recipe said to let the dough chill 2-4 hours, or overnight.  I found that I didn't need to chill it, so I've omitted this step]

Cut dough ball into four parts.  On a parchment lined baking sheet, roll out one part into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Spoon desired amount of fig puree down the center of the rectangle, being sure to save room around the sides.  Fold the long sides of the rectangle in and pinch together.  Then, repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bake for twenty five minutes, until golden [I think I should have taken mine out a couple minutes earlier]. Let cool completely before slicing with a sharp serrated knife.