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Homemade Fig Newtons

These chewy, fruity snack cookies have been popular with children and adults alike since 1891. Today I’ll show you how I make my version of Homemade Fig Newtons using a simple filling and shaping technique.

Fig Newton Cookies stacked on a plate.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE FIG NEWTONS FROM SCRATCH

Fig Newtons are super easy to make at home.

  • All You Need Is :
  • Tender cookie dough
  • Sweet fig paste filling
Fig Newtons Cookies on a white plate.

HOW TO MAKE FIG PASTE FILLING

  • Dried Figs
  • Brown Sugar
  • Lemon or Orange Zest
  • Juice of One Lemon/Orange
  • Grand Marnier or other Orange Liqueur (optional, if not using alcohol use water or orange juice instead)
  • Water

CAN I USE FRESH FIGS?

Yes, you can use fresh figs. Wash fresh, ripe figs, remove stems. Quarter them and cook them until soft and till mixture is thick. Process in the food processor. If paste appear to runny, return it to the stove and simmer till it thickens, stirring frequently.

Slice or quarter dried figs into a pot. Pour in freshly squeezed lemon/orange juice, lemon/orange zest, brown sugar, water and orange liqueur (if using). Bring to simmer and cook covered for 20-30 minutes, until very soft. Remove from the heat.

Sliced dried figs, sugar, water in a pot.

Allow to cool slightly and process in the food chopper until smooth. If the paste appears runny return it to the stove and cook until it is paste consistency. It also thickens slightly as it cools.

TIP : Fig paste can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

Processing cooked figs in a food processor.

Spoon room temperature fig paste into a piping bag.

TIP : Let chilled fig paste come to room temperature. It’s easier to spread or pipe room temperature paste than chilled paste onto the cookie dough.

COOKIE DOUGH

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Egg yolks
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Cardamom/Cinnamon(optional)
  • Orange Zest – recommended (optional)
Ingredients for cookie dough in small bowls.

Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cardamom/cinnamon (if using) into a large bowl.

Sifting flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl.

Cream room temperature unsalted butter until smooth about 30 second to a minute. Then beat in granulated and brown sugar and cream for 3 minutes until well blended and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla extract and orange zest (if using).

Then gradually, in 3 additions, and on low speed beat in flour mixture. Beat until flour is thoroughly moistened and cookie dough starts to come together. Knead with hands for 20 second till it comes to a ball. Flatten cookie dough into a disk.

Bowl with creamed butter and sugar.

Wrap the cookie dough well into food wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Wrapping cookie dough into a food wrap.

FILL AND SHAPE HOMEMADE FIG NEWTONS COOKIES

To fill cookies with fig paste I utilized a simple filling and folding technique.

First, divide cookie dough into 5-6 portions. Shape each piece into a log, (steps 1-3).

Roll out, one portion at a time, between 2 pieces of food wrap. Roll the cookie dough to about 1/12 inch (2mm) thick, into a rectangle at least 4 inches wide and 8-10 inches long, (steps 4-8).

Rolling out cookie between sheets of food wrap.

Carefully peel off top layer of food wrap. Take a ruler, measure and trim 4 inch wide and about 8-10 inches long rectangle, (steps 1-8).

Trimming rolled out cookie dough into a rectangle.

Take a piping bag filled with a homemade fig paste and pipe a snake lengthwise, in the middle of the rectangle, (steps 1-3).

Piping fig paste filling onto a cookie.

Now lift up food wrap and fold top part over the fig filling, (steps 1-4). Gently press cookie dough onto the filling to flatten it, (steps 5-8).

Fold cookie dough over fig paste filling.

Now you can repeat with the bottom section. Lift up food wrap and fold the cookie dough over the 1st fold, (steps 1-2). Gently press cookie dough down to flatten the roll and to seal the cookie, (steps 3-8).

Flattening cookie dough with fingers.

To release cookie log from underneath the food wrap gently lift up food wrap and peel it off. You can either transfer a whole log onto a baking sheet or you can slice log into smaller pieces and transfer small pieces onto a baking sheet and bake them off.

Shaping fig newtons cookie log.

I personally prefer slicing unbaked filled cookie logs into about 1.5inch (4cm) cm) to 2 inch (5cm) long pieces, (steps 1-3).

Slicing fig newtons with a knife.

Slice fig rolls and transfer unbaked fig cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Placing unbaked cookies onto a baking sheet lined with silicone baking mat.

BAKE FIG NEWTONS COOKIES

Bake cookies at 350F (180C) for about 10-13 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges.

TIP : If you make thicker cookies bake them for a little longer, 1-3 minutes longer.

Transferring baked cookies with a spatula from a baking sheet.

HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE FIG NEWTONS?

Transfer baked cookies onto a cooling rack and allow to cool, (steps 1-3).

Once cookies are baked and cooled they are crispy. To achieve their characteristic soft, chewy texture allow them to rest before serving. Fig Newtons taste best when left to “mature”. Store baked cookies in an airtight container between sheet of parchment. Let them rest overnight. Cookies will soften as they rest.

Fig Newtons cookies keep for up to a week at room temperature and for up to a month when stored in the fridge.

Transferring baked cookies onto a cooling rack.

CAN I USE FRESH FIGS TO MAKE FIG PASTE FILLING?

Yes, you can use fresh figs. Wash fresh, ripe figs, remove stems. Quarter them and cook them until soft and falling apart. Fig mixture should be thick. Process in the food processor. If paste looks too runny return it to the pot and simmer until paste thickens. Depending on how sweet your fresh figs are add more or less sugar or honey.

Baked fig newton cookie on a whiteplate.

HOW ABOUT DIFFERENT FILLINGS, WHAT CAN I USE?

If you are not a fig fan you can use other fillings, or combination of fillings made from dried fruits or nuts :

  • Apricots
  • Raisins
  • Plums
  • Ground Walnuts – add ground nuts to fruit filling

I DON’T WANT TO USE ALCOHOL CAN I USE SOMETHING ELSE INSTEAD?

You can use orange juice or water in place of alcohol in the fig paste recipe.

Detail of baked fig newtons showing the filling.

TO MAKE HOMEMADE FIG NEWTONS YOU NEED

  • TOOLS
  • Find all tools in my Amazon Shop
  • Baking Sheet
  • Mixer, either hand held or stand mixer
  • Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat
  • Piping Bag
  • Food Wrap
  • Knife

MORE DELICIOUS FRUIT DESSERTS

5 from 2 votes
Fig Newton Cookies stacked on a plate.
Homemade Fig Newtons
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
13 mins
Cooling Time
30 mins
 

Make delicious homemade version of popular fig cookies/ cookie&cake.

Recipe yields 70 cookies

Serving: 5 cookies

Course: Breakfast, Cookies, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fig cookies, fig newtons, fruit cookies
Servings: 14 people
Hanielas.com: Hani
Ingredients
HOMEMADE FIG NEWTONS
Fig Filling
  • 14 oz dry figs, sliced, stem removed as needed
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier, Orange Liqueur, Dark Rum or use water instead or orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon or small orange
Cookie Dough
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom or cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (113 grams)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions
HOMEMADE FIG NEWTONS
Fig Filling
  1. Into a pot add sliced dry figs (14 oz., approximately 400 grams), Orange Liqueur or Rum or orange juice (1/4 cup), water (1/4 cup), brown sugar (2 tablespoons),lemon or orange juice (just of one citrus) and lemon or orange zest (of one citrus).

  2. Cover pot with a lid and bring to boil. Lower the temperature to simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, or until figs are very soft and most of the liquid is absorbed by figs. If the figs are very dry it's possible more liquid is needed to cook them till soft. Add more liquid, add 1 to 2 tablespoon water at a time as needed.

  3. Once figs are cooked and very soft, process them in the food processor until smooth. Let cool completely, then fill the piping bag with the filling, set aside.

  4. Filling can be prepared up to a week ahead and stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

Cookie Dough
  1. In this recipe I use 2 egg yolks. Separate 2 eggs, save egg whites for later.

    Sift together flour (1 3/4 cup), baking soda (1/4 teaspoon), salt (1/4 teaspoon) and cardamom/cinnamon (optional, 1/2 teaspoon). Set aside

  2. Beat room temperature unsalted butter (1/2 cup,113 grams) with brown sugar (1/4 cup) and granulated sugar (1/4 cup) until smooth, 5 minutes. Add egg yolks (2 room temperature egg yolks) and beat until combined. Then beat in vanilla extract, (1 teaspoon). Scrape down the bowl few times to ensure everything is well combined.

  3. Lastly, on low speed gradually add flour mixture.

  4. Once the dough comes together, form a disk and wrap the dough into a plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.

How to Fill Fig Newtons
  1. Divide cookie dough into 6 portions. Line the work surface with plastic wrap. Take a piece of cookie dough and form into a log. Put another piece of plastic wrap on top of the log. Press gently. Take a rolling pin and roll it out thinly into a rectangle, at least 4 inches wide. Trim the excess dough so rectangle is 4 inches wide and about 10 inch long

  2. Take a piping bag with the filling and pipe a long rope in the center of the rectangle. Lift one side of plastic wrap and fold the dough over the filling. Press gently to spread and flatten the filling underneath the cookie dough layer. Lift opposite side of the plastic wrap and fold the remaining portion of cookie rectangle over the first cookie fold. Press gently with your hands to flatten it out. Unfold the cookie log, hold one side of plastic wrap, gently roll the log so the seam is on the bottom. Cut the cookie log with a knife into about 1.5 to 2 inch pieces.

    TIP : You can also bake whole logs if desired. If so bake whole logs for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool then cut into smaller pieces.

Bake Fig Newtons
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C) bake for 10-13 minutes.

    Transfer cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking mat. Bake at 350F for 10-13 minutes until very lightly golden on the bottom. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy. Store in the airtight container. Cookies will get softer as they rest.

Recipe Notes

CAN I USE FRESH FIGS TO MAKE FIG NEWTONS?

Use about 16 fresh figs in this recipe. Yes, you can use fresh figs. Wash and quarter figs. Adjust sugar amount depending on how sweet your fresh figs are.

CAN YOU FREEZE HOMEMADE FIG NEWTONS?

Absolutely. Freeze baked fig newtons in an airtight container, between pieces of parchment paper.

HAVE YOU TRIED USING OTHER DRY FRUIT TO MAKE THE FILLING?

I’ve use dry apricots, plums and raisins. You can make up your own filling by combining different dry fruits and even ground nuts. Get creative!

HOMEMADE FIG NEWTONS WITH FIG PRESERVE?

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. The Best recipe I’ve seen. I dried my own figs in the oven over night. And followed the recipe as continues, can’t stop eating them. I’m going to start another batch tomorrow! Thanks

  2. This recipe is perfection. The cookies although time consuming to make, are absolutely delicious. I did end up using more liquid as the figs I used seemed pretty dry so I added both grand marnier and vanilla dark rum. Just amazing. All of the alcohol cooks off as it boils and just leaves a lovely complex flavor. Will definitely make again.

  3. I LOVE THIS RECIPE!! I used the cookie dough recipe and used my mom’s homemade fig jam and it goes so well with it! I’ve already made this recipe twice because of how good it is! Love how easily it is to follow as well, thank you so much! Definitely going to continue to make more

  4. I love Fig Newtons and this recipe sounds so delicious ! Do you prefer cardamom or cinnamon in this recipe? I also love that it’s a recipe to use up egg yolks….instead of me always making curd. 😉😊

    1. Hi June,
      I honestly like both. Cinnamon is easily obtained, cardamom can be harder to find. I know, lemon curd is my weakness, too :-)♥

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