Here we are! Fig newtons, homemade! Not that I have anything against Nabisco :) I wanted to try out this awesome recipe I spotted at Beantown Baker and while I was not a lover of a fig newtons, my wonderful Aunt Nancy is a big fan. So for her birthday, I gave them a try!
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 lbs fresh figs
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1. Cream 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 the sides of the bowl.
2. Beat in the egg white and vanilla.
3. Next, add the flour and beat on low speed until the dough comes together.
4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight (the longer the better). I took mine out after about an hour and a half and it was way too soft.
5. While the dough is chilling, cut the figs in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. In a medium sauce pan, combine figs, sugar, and lemon juice. Mash mixture a few times with a potato masher or fork.
6. Cook mixture over medium-high heat until bubbling and sugar has dissolved; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until it has reduced by about one-third and is beginning to gel. Set aside until completely cool.
7. Place racks in middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
8. Here's the tricky part, at least, it was for me. 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. I had a little too much dough for the amount of filling and since I'd rather have super stuffed fig newtons, I threw some jam in the excess dough. 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.
9. 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.
They turned out great and I will definitely make these again!