Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What if you wanted to make a Fig Newton?

This morning as we are standing around the shop polishing off the last remnants of our coffee the topic of cookies came up*. We discussed all of our favorites, and came upon the common theme that our spouses would likely never approve of our being seen consuming a box of cookies while driving around town. Cookies are after all “Junkfood”, but that stigma likely can be forgiven if the Chocolate Chips are miraculously replaced with fruit….Enter the Fig Newton, because as children we had no such thing as a choice to a fruit filling, it was fig, and we still love them today. I had one of the guys ask if I knew how to make them, and so I decided to share the recipe today….

3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
6 ounces Unsalted Butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
4 Eggs

2 cups Dried Figs, Chopped
1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Cup Apple Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
4 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon orange zest, Minced



1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter pieces until the dough is the texture of coarse sand.

2. Whisk 3 eggs together and add to the dough. Mix to combine. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

1. Combine the Figs, Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Cinnamon, Sugar, and Orange Zest in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed by the figs and the mixture is thick. Remove from heat.

2. Let the filling cool slightly, then puree in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

3. Preheat the oven to 375F.

4. Make an egg wash by whisking the remaining egg with 2 tsp. of water.

5. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. On a lightly floured surface roll out each portion of dough into a rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick, and cut the dough lengthwise into strips, at least 2 1/2 inches wide.

6. Brush the edges of each dough strip with egg wash.

7. Spoon the fig filling down the center of the strip and then fold the dough over to enclose the filling in bars.

8. Place the bars, seam side down, on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.

9. Press down lightly to flatten. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Brush the bars with the egg wash and bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Let cool, then cut with a sharp knife into pieces.

*This undoubtedly was a result of my week long fascination with Peanut Butter Crackers, and the fact I was only going to begin the day with 2 packages since I‘ve consumed the complete cracker inventory of the market up the road. There’s a whole bunch of energy packed into a package of these crackers, and since I’ve noticed the requirements of my time here in Minnesota leave little time for nourishment during our day I take them on the road with me.

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