I mentioned the possibility of homemade fig newtons on my facebook page the other day and everyone went a little gaga over the idea. I was a little surprised, to be honest.

Homemade Fig Newtons | Healthy Green Kitchen

I figured nobody really liked fig newtons, you see. When I was a kid, they were the cookie you got in your lunchbox because your parents didn’t want you to eat way-more-yummy-but-not-as-healthy chocolate chip cookies, right? Well, turns out fig newtons didn’t need my sympathies. Plenty of people really do like them after all.

I looked at a bunch of homemade fig bars on various blogs. They were all made with dried figs because actual fig newtons have a dried fig filling. I hope you don’t mind but I made an executive decision to use fresh figs in my filling since I wasn’t hung up on recreating an authentic “newton experience”. I just wanted some great fig bars.

fresh figs | Healthy Green Kitchen

The fig jam on its own is simple to make, and pretty freaking fabulous. If these cookies do not appeal to you, you can just make the jam and use it how you like! I actually made a double batch of the jam a few weeks before I made the cookies, and I’ve been loving it. If you make the recipe as written below, you should have enough for the cookies, plus a little extra.

I made the dough for these bars with Jovial Organic Einkorn Flour. I am a big fan of this flour for baking: it makes delicious treats and I feel really good about using it because it is nutrient dense, has not been hybridized like modern wheat, and contains less gluten. Feel free to use unbleached, all-purpose flour instead, if you like.

A couple of notes about the method for making these cookies:

- You’ll want the dough to chill in the refrigerator before you roll it out. If you don’t refrigerate it, it will be too soft and you’ll end up with a mess. On the other hand, you don’t want it to be too stiff because then it may “break” when you work with it…one hour should be enough time for chilling.

dough ready for fridge

- I added quite a bit of extra flour while I was rolling out the dough because I did find it to be a pretty sticky. Flour is your friend: make sure to use it on the rolling pin, too. You may have an easier time rolling the dough between two sheets of parchment, but I didn’t. I did keep a piece of parchment under the dough while I was rolling it, but I flipped the dough and added more flour a few times as I was rolling so that the dough wouldn’t stick. If you have a plastic dough scraper, it will probably come in handy. If your dough end ups sticking/tearing, don’t worry- just patch it up with a little scrap of extra dough trimmed off from the edge. You don’t want the dough too think, but you don’t want it too thin, either (1/8 inch thick is just about right).

dough rolled

- Watch out for adding more filling than your dough can accommodate. The dough is pretty sturdy but you don’t want the jam to bust out during baking…the amount of jam I added down the center of each strip of dough was perfect.

Making Fig Bars | Healthy Green Kitchen

- You will want to use your fingers to gently seal the edges of the dough together after you add the jam. If you don’t seal the dough well enough, the jam will ooze out.

Making Fig Bars | Healthy Green Kitchen

- You will want to roll the dough over so the seam is on the bottom before you slice these into bars. This will help to keep the jam in place.

Making Fig Bars | Healthy Green Kitchen

If you want to make your fig jam without sugar, try this recipe for Honey Fig Jam from Tasty Yummies. If you want to try these cookies with a dried fig jam, here’s a recipe from The Kitchn. For a gluten-free version of fig cookies, try this recipe from The Free People Blog.


Recipe for Homemade Fig Newtons

Yield: about 40 cookies

You will love this homemade version of fig newtons made with a fresh fig filling.

Ingredients:

For the jam:

*1 pound just-ripe figs
*1 cup organic sugar
*3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the dough:

*1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (I used organic butter)
*1/2 cup sugar (I used organic sugar)
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
*1 large egg, at room temperature (I used eggs from my backyard chickens)
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Jovial Organic Einkorn Flour)
*

Directions:

For the jam:

1. Trim the stems from the figs, then quarter them cross-wise.

2. Combine figs, sugar, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Transfer mixture to a pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and, stirring constantly, cook until the hot jam is thickened (about 10 minutes).

4. Allow to cool then transfer to the blender. Blend until the fig jam is smooth, then transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate.

For the cookies:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat on medium until well blended (about 3 minutes).

2. Add egg and beat for another minute. Add flour and beat on medium speed until just blended.

3. Place 2 large pieces of plastic wrap on a work surface. Divide dough in half and place the two piece of dough on the 2 pieces of plastic and cover. Shape each one into an even flat disc. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm enough to roll out.

4. Working with one disc at a time, on a well-floured piece of parchment paper, roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 11 1/4 x 15 inches. (If yours measures a bit smaller, that is ok (but do try to keep the shape a rectangle). Don't roll the dough too thin (about 1/8 inch thick is perfect).

5. Transfer dough on parchment onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or silpat liners).

7. Working with one sheet at a time, slide dough onto your work surface. Dust dough lightly with flour. Cut dough lengthwise into equal width strips (use a ruler to measure if you like). Spoon jam down the length of each strip (keep it about an inch away from the edges), then carefully fold the dough over the filling. Use your fingertips to gently seal the edges together. Roll the dough over so the seam is on the bottom. Cut the cookies into 1 1/2-inch wide pieces and arrange them about an inch apart on parchment or silpat-lined baking sheets.

8. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms are starting to brown. Transfer to wire rack to let cool completely.

Homemade Fig Bars | Healthy Green Kitchen

More Homemade Fig Newton Recipes
Fig Bars from Lemons and Anchovies
Homemade Fig Bars from Weelicious
Homemade Fig Newtons from The Faux Martha
Homemade Fig Newtons from My Whole Food Life

 

26 Comments

  1. 1

    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — September 18, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

    I always disliked fig newtons and considered them the old person cookie haha. My Nana always bought them for us kids as a “treat”. Now that I’m an adult I freaking love them…. and this homemade version looks 100x better.

  2. 2

    Amber@BareNaturalMommy — September 18, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

    Great recipe! I would love to try these out on my 3-year-old. They look so much better than those packaged ones.

  3. 3

    Georgie — September 18, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

    I have loved fig newtons since I was a little girl. I’m so excited that now I have a delicious recipe to make my own. Thanks fro making these.

  4. 4

    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) — September 18, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    Oh my Winnie – these are lovely. I like the packaged version (shame!) but I think these look 10 million times better!

  5. 5

    Missy — September 18, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    Those look yummy. I would bake before cutting.

  6. 6

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — September 18, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

    I don’t like packaged fig newtons but these look so good with the fresh fig filling!

  7. 7

    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper — September 19, 2013 @ 6:21 am

    Yum, I love Fig Newtons and the idea of making them myself!

  8. 8

    Abbie A — September 19, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    Oooey Gooey rich n chewy inside
    Golden cakey tender flaky outside!
    You wrap the inside in the outside and it’s GOOD DARN TOOTIN’!
    It’s the Big! Fig! Newton!!!!!!!!!!

    yes, I do the dance too :-)

    Can’t wait to try these!!!

  9. 9

    Simonne — September 22, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    Is there a nutritional chart for this recipe?

  10. 10

    kathleen — September 22, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    Any recipe ratios that can use honey instead of sugar?

  11. 11

    Fiona — September 23, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

    I’m so excited to see this recipe! This is going to sound weird – we recently bought some all natural dog treats that look just like fig newtons (which I have always loved!) and they smell so good, I have been tempted to try one myself. Glad to see a recipe for the human version :)

  12. 12

    Laura — September 26, 2013 @ 12:40 am

    Yummy! I’m trying this!

  13. 13

    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — September 28, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

    LOVE everything figgy, Winnie! Glad you made such a sound executive decision using fresh figs for your filling. Your Homemade Fig Newtons look phenomenally delish. And, that Einkorn Flour by Jovial Foods? Didn’t I tell you that it totally ROCKS?! It tastes great even as a taste-test from the tip of your finger. This is the wheat we were meant to eat. So glad to see you baking and enjoying it. I love the stuff! Thanks for sharing, girl. Pinning!

  14. 14

    Links: End of Season Stonefruit and Winners | Food in Jars — October 7, 2013 @ 12:50 am

    [...] is probably not the first time I’ve posted a link to homemade fig newtons, and it probably won’t be the [...]

  15. 15

    Liana — October 10, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    So glad I found your blog via fb. You are a girl after my own heart for sure! Love Jovial Einkorn flour (although we buy the berries and grind them in a little mill) …I envy you having your own chickens, I am a little chicken to have chickens! haha…but we have a local farm nearby…boy are they hard to get though! This recipe sounds fantastic, I will definitely be trying it out. THANK YOU! Great post, lovely blog!

  16. 16

    Stacie — October 22, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

    Any way to make these without the egg?

  17. 17

    Wendy — October 22, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    Fresh Figs, here in NZ, in the shops (when they are available) retail for $34.00 a kilo. Which is about $17.00 NZ a pound.
    Unless you have a fig tree in your backyard fresh fig newtons are not a possibility.
    How could or would you change these to using dried figs.
    Could you post an alternative.
    But these sound So yummy.

  18. 18

    Kim — November 9, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    These are fantastic! I made them with a friends 18 year old who was staying in our home for a few weeks. We had a wonderful time and the results were fantastic. Everyone I shared them with loved them too. They definitely require some planning as several things need to be made ahead of assembly time. Thanks for your wonderful blog, I visit it often and recommend it frequently.

  19. 19

    A Dozen Christmas Cookies for Santa Claus - Nourishing News — December 26, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

    […] Homemade Fig Newtons Chocolate Einkorn Sandwich Cookies […]

  20. 20

    Sierra — June 19, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

    I love this recipe! My cookie came out awesome. I will be using this multiple times. Everybody liked it including my picky husband and our toddler. Thanks for posting this.

  21. 21

    Healthy-On-the-Go Summer Snacks | Live Simply — August 1, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

    […] Homemade Fig Newtons from Healthy Green Kitchen […]

  22. 22

    Deborah — August 5, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

    I thought to give these a try since my neighbor gave us a pound and a half of fresh figs. I will say the jam making process is great and very easy to do, and I have almost 2 cups left over after making the cookies. The dough was easy to make, but once I had cut them into strips & lined with the jam, they were not easy to roll the sides up. I had enough flour going on and even so they dough would rip & stick to the counter. I think, after rolling out the dough, cut the strips then & fill with jam. Then refrigerate a few minutes longer. I think the colder the dough is, the easier it will be to fold, pinch seams, and roll the cookie over. I ended up cutting my second portion of dough into strips and laying them on top of the other strips, pressing along the edges. Then I sliced & baked them. Because of this, I didn’t make as many cookies as I could have, however it didn’t see any other way. I make another cookie at Christmas time called Thumbprint cookies. Which essentially is a short bread type cookie, with a thumbprint in the center & jam placed in the center, then baked. I think if you’re looking for a fig jam cookie, and not concerned with it being a fig “newton” like cookie/bar, that could be an easier cookie to assemble. Thanks for the recipe. We love the jam, and overall the cookies did turn out nice.

  23. 23

    Katy — August 13, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

    This recipe was so so so excellent. I had fresh figs from a local CSA that I had no idea what to do with. So, I thought, fig newtons! I searched and found yours. I decided to use the jam recipe with the honey, because I don’t really use granulated sugar. I actually just took the guts out of my figs, didn’t use the skin because I have heard that it can sometimes make your tongue itchy. Anywho, this recipe was sooooooooo so delicious. I loved it. I used the Einkhorn flour too and trust me guys…. it does make a difference! It adds a sweet and floral note that just compliments the fig so well. Thanks again for the recipe!

    • Winnie replied: — August 22nd, 2014 @ 8:43 am

      I am so happy you liked it!

  24. 24

    Jeanette — September 10, 2014 @ 11:42 pm

    You did not peel the figs ever, correct? Simply blended them into the jam?

    • Winnie replied: — September 18th, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

      Correct!