This is my play on Fig Newtons. I LOVED those cookies growing up. As a child I had no idea how complex their ingredient list was… I mean, they only contained figs and newtons, right? hehe I am an ingredient reader, yep, I am the one that you find blocking the grocery aisle, lost in lala land, reading the fine print as you try to maneuver around my shopping cart. Should I ever be found blocking your path, I apologize ahead of time. :)
I have actually noticed how more and more people are reading the back of food packages these days. It’s a great conversation starter. When I find someone with their nose buried deep into reading the ingredients on a package, I can’t help but ask, “Looking for gluten-free?” Nine times out of 10, I have hit the nail on the head. This leads to some good conversations on the quality of foods, our bodies and so forth.
So, since we are talking about food labels and ingredients, let’s take a peak at what a Fig Newton is made up of… cause I promise you, it is more than just figs and newtons.
Ingredient List for Nabisco Fig Newtons (which I found here): ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), FIGS PRESERVED WITH SULFUR DIOXIDE, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, SOYBEAN OIL, WHEY (FROM MILK), PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL, SALT, BAKING SODA, CALCIUM LACTATE, MALIC ACID, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), POTASSIUM SORBATE ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.
Bob has informed me that I can make these ANY time (hint hint) He really loved them.
Yields 27 treats
- 1 cup dried figs firmly packed
- 2 Tbsp soak water
- Place the walnuts, cashews, cinnamon and salt in the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade and process till the nuts break down to small bits.
- Add maple syrup and start with 1 Tbsp of almond milk or water and add more as needed. Process till a ball forms and starts spinning around the processor. If the batter is to crumbly, add another Tbsp of water/milk or as needed.
- Place in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place a figs in a bowl and cover with hot water. Allow them to soak for 15+ minutes to soften.
- Drain the soak water from the figs and place them in the food processor, again fitted with the “S” blade. Keep the soak water. Add soak water slowly and process till it becomes a thick paste then stop adding the water.
- Place the paste in a small bowl and set aside.
Lay out all of the mini cupcake liners. I used silicone ones which hold the shape wonderfully., and no need to grease them.
For perfect measurements, I used the 1 1/2 Tbsp cookie scoop.
Step 1 ~
- Level off the cookie scoop with dough. Place on a cutting board. Do this till all the dough is used up.
- Cut each lump of dough into quarters. Take one-quarter of the dough and roll into a ball and place in the bottom of each liner. Softly press down flat.
Step 2 –
- Level off the cookie scoop with the fig batter. Place on a cutting board. Do this till all the dough is used up.
- Cut each lump of filling into quarters. Take one-quarter of the dough and roll into a ball and place in the center of the batter that is in the liner. Don’t press down. Do this till all of the liners are filled.
Step 3 ~
- Take 2 pieces of the quarters cookie dough and roll into a ball. Lightly pat into a disc in the palm of your hand and lay it over the ball in the liner. Do this till all fig batter balls are covered. If you hands gets sticky during this process, stop and wash your hands. This will help.
- Press the edges down into the liner, around the shape of the fig filling ball. It will create a dome. Do this to all of the treats.
- Go back and flatten each one flat, this will cause the dough to level off the top and assure that the dough is covering the edges of the fig ball inside. Do this to all the treats.
Step 4 ~
- Place all of the treats on a cookie sheet or plate and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Remove from the freezer and pop the treats out of the liners. I found that if I pulled the sides away from the batter and flipped it over, gave the bottom a slight squeeze, they popped out undisturbed and beautifully.
Step 5 ~
- Place on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator and dry at 115 degrees for 4-6 hours.
Sous Chef Suggestions:
- Dehydrating ~ You can skip this step and serve them soft and moist. Store leftovers in the freezer.
- Shape ~ You can shape these into bars or any other desired shape.
- Dried figs – Replace with dates or raisins.
- Dried figs – I don’t suggest substituting with fresh figs or fruit due to the consistency and texture.
Oh heck, lets break this down. :)
Place the dough in the bottom of the cup and press down gently. I used another silicon
liner to do this since my nails are long and I would get dough stuck under them. :)
Do this to all the liners. I was able to make 27 of them.
Place the fig ball in the center, don’t press it flat. Create a disc out of the dough
and place it on top of the fig ball.
Press the edges of the disc down around the fig ball. This will seal the bottom and top
Now flatten the top down, even with the liner edges. Once they are all done, place them in
the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm up. This will help in removing them from the liner.
Don’t be afraid to leave them as is… but really… why do that when we can coat them in chocolate!!
The most important to keep in mind before starting the chocolate process is to have
everything ready and in place. Have a tray or rack to place them on once dipped, have the
topping ready and a wet towel nearby (chocolate is ALWAYS messy).
When decorating the top, I find it best to only use additional ingredients of what
had been used in the recipe as decoration. But then I sort of blew that theory by using
edible flowers here. haha. But you can get as creative as you want.
For drying purposes, place the tray of freshly dipped cakelets in a cool room. They will
go from shiny to a matt color when dried. If moisture gets on them during the drying process
they will get a discoloration on them, known as a bloom. See below for an example.
One dry, place in sealed containers and store in the fridge or freezer.