Yesterday, January 16th was National Fig Newton day! Instead of running to the store, I decided to see if anyone in the blogosphere had tried making them before. Sure enough I found a recipe from Beantown Baker and substituted the figs for strawberries – my favorite kind of Newton!
It was a bit more trouble than I had planned. I followed the recipe and found the dough difficult to work with. In order to get the dough to a 16×12 inch rectangle it ended up being very thin. I managed to get them together working carefully, but at the end of the day what I really needed was more dough.
For future reference, I think the solution is to simply double the dough. Therefore, I doubled the dough recipe and have posted it here. I do have to say the taste is pretty much spot on! Although I too experienced them to be a little crispy immediately after baking, once they sat in an airtight container the dough became soft just like the real Newtons. Will definitely make these again!
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp grated lemon or orange zest (I used orange because I already had one)
2 large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
- Cream together the butter, sugar and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl and paddle.
- Add the egg white and vanilla and beat in. Scrape down the bowl and paddle again.
- Add the flour and beat on low speed until the dough comes together.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator at least 10 minutes before using, allowing to soften.
2 lbs fresh strawberries
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
Juice of half a lemon (I used juice from 1/4 orange juice, figuring that was roughly 1/2 lemon)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Hull the strawberries and cut them in half. In a medium sauce pan, combine strawberries, sugar, orange juice, and corn starch. Mash mixture a few times with a potato masher or fork.
- Cook mixture over medium-high heat until bubbling and sugar has dissolved; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35 minutes, until it has reduced by about one-third and is beginning to gel. Set aside until completely cool*.
*I did have another problem – the filling was not thick enough, which may have been due to using strawberries instead of figs (maybe I should’ve cooked them much longer). Added some corn starch which helped although still ended up with not much filling per cookie since it was still a bit runny.
Assemble the Fig Newtons:
- Place racks in middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12 x 16 rectangle. Cut into 4 equal strips, each 12 x 4 inches. Spoon a line of filling down the center of each strip. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges together. Using a serrated knife, slice each log on the diagonal into 10 cookies**. Place each cookie on the parchment-lined baking sheets, seam side down.
- Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
**I waited to slice the cookies until after baking in order to prevent the filling from spilling out all over the place.
Source: Adapted from Beantown Baker