Figs & Fig Newtons
Have you ever tasted a fig? They are absolutely delicious and of course remind us of growing up eating Fig Newtons. But as with most things, baking from scratch vs. store bought is way more healthy, fresh and less processed. To recreate this delicious dessert (or snack!), we found an great recipe for homemade fig newtons and HHS team member Mia went to the kitchen to try it out. In just about an hour start to finish, with only 12 ingredients, perfection was ready. See the full recipe below from “Dessert for Two” or click here to see the full post with photos and additional notes.
Looking for other uses for figs? We love their rich plum and berry colors for fall arrangements. They add a wonderful texture and variety. LOVE!
Homemade Fig Newtons Recipe
8 ounces dried Turkish or Calimyrna figs, stemmed and quartered
2 cups apple juice*
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
For the crust:
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 /3/4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING: Simmer the figs, apple juice*, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the figs are very soft and the juice is syrupy, 25 to 30 minutes. There should only be 3-4 tablespoons of liquid remaining in the pan when they're done.
Let the mixture cool slightly. Puree the figs in a food processor with the lemon juice until the mixture has a thick jam consistency, about 8 seconds.
FOR THE CRUST: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a parchment both directions, and then grease the paper.
Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.
Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.
Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Reserve 3/4 cup of the dough for the topping!
Sprinkle the remaining dough mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer with a greased spatula.
Bake the crust until just beginning to turn golden, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, roll the reserved 3/4 cup of dough for the top crust between 2 sheets of greased parchment paper into an 8-inch square; trim the edges of the dough as needed to measure exactly 8 inches. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment, transfer it to a baking sheet and place it in the freezer until needed.
Spread the fig mixture evenly over the crust. Unwrap the frozen, reserved top crust and lay it over the filling, pressing lightly to adhere. Honestly, this part doesn't have to be perfect; you can see in the photos I had some tears and holes and I just patched it. Once you cut the bars, no one will notice!
Bake the bars until the top crust is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
Let the fig bars cool completely in the pan, set on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil, cut into squares, and serve.