Happy New Years everyone! I hope you all had a safe and splendid holiday. We don't typically go out, so I cooked a nice dinner of Beef Wellington, and roasted veggies for our dinner date at home. I made these newtons a couple days ago and figured it was a good time to share.
I couldn't tell you why over the last few weeks I've been craving fig newtons. I always loved them as a kid, but for some reason I just have NEEDED to have them. I think also, Frank had mentioned them at some point, getting me to thinking there has got to be a better version I can make of them. Especially while I work to cut back on sugar and sweets (my usual attempt every January.) Sweetened by figs, 2 tablespoons and 1/4 cup of coconut sugar for the entire batch, these are a pretty solid dessert or snack bite that isn't too terrible for you. I also pack it with hemp hearts and ground flax, so that you can get some extra protein and heart benefits.
In a stand mixer, start by first beating the butter and sugar until its smooth. Should take a few minutes. Then add in the one egg, vanilla and almond extract and mix until completely blended in. In another bowl, add all the dry ingredients together and then start by adding 1/4 cup of it at a time to the mixer until it is completely blended. Add in the little bit of almond milk if you feel the batter is too dry. It'll be ready when it starts to peel away from the bowl cleanly like a bread dough would. Pull the dough off and place in a covered bowl into the refrigerator.
In a food processor, now make the filling: add the figs, salt and maple syrup and pulse a few times until the figs are broken down. Then, one tablespoon at a time, add in the almond milk until the consistency becomes sticky.
Then remove the dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350. On a WELL floured surface, roll out the dough until about 1/4 of an inch. make sure that you can move it around and its not stuck to the counter. Then spread evenly the filling across the entire thing. Give yourself a little room around the edge. Then, carefully pull up and fold in half. I usually will use a very large spatula to do this so that my dough doesn't tear. Again, re-flour if you need to so that this can easily move around on the counter. Lastly, roll out again to about 1/4-1/2 an inch (or desired thickness for bar) Cut evenly into 2 inch squares and onto a greased baking sheet. I put even the weird end pieces on there, because, well, it doesn't matter how it looks to me, if it tastes good. Bake these babies from anywhere to 14-17 minutes until the bottoms become slightly golden. Rotate halfway through. Let cool and keep in a Tupperware - if they even last that long.
Homemade Fig Newtons (GF/DF)
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: 14-17 minutes
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground flax
1 cup gluten free flour (I love Bob's)
1 tablespoon hemp hearts
3 tablespoons vegan butter/coconut oil/ghee (I love this one)
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 tablespoons almond milk
FILLING: 2 cups figs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 4 tablespoons almond milk
In a large stand mixer, blend coconut sugar and butter until smooth. Then add egg and extracts.
In a medium bowl to the side, do all remaining ingredients except the almond milk. Add to mixer 1/4 cup at a time until completely blended. Add almond milk if dough appears dry. Place dough in covered bowl in fridge.
In a food processor, mix all filling ingredients until stick consistency.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and flour your counter well.
Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Make sure you can still move it around! Then spread with a knife the filling evenly all over the surface.
Flip over onto itself (like a quesadilla) and roll out again to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick (desired thickness here). Cut into 2 inch squares and place on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 14-17 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly golden. Let cool.