Ohhh, I know that they’re not actually called “figgy” newtons…it’s just that it’s about 93% cuter than their drab proper name. Fact. With that said, from now on, I expect us all to refer to them by their more adorable nickname. Everyone on board? Good.

Yesterday morning, I was watching the Food Network. Quelle surprise! Anyway, at one point, I meandered out of the room in search of caffeine, and as I sauntered back into the living room, coffee in hand, I was greeted by old school Anna Olson and her first-aired show, Sugar. Eek! I used to LOVE watching Sugar. Granted, she was incredibly ineloquent, and I often found myself cringing as she stumbled upon her words while straining to read the script on the teleprompter, but let’s be honest, her show was completely dedicated to desserts. I’ll take a few cringe-worthy moments, any day, if it means that I have the opportunity to live vicariously through Anna as she makes some truly fabulous and decadent desserts. I was pretty much buzzing with excitement. Or, maybe it was the fact that I was already on my second cup of coffee…

Irregardless, I had a fabulous old time. On the couch, wearing my men’s, size- large, fleece pants, drinking too much coffee, and watching Anna whip up some sugary delights. Not a bad Friday morning.

This particular show was dedicated to all things figgy. Remember what we agreed upon?? Right. Ok. So she started off by making figgy newtons and I was virtually on the edge of my seat. I had never even thought of making these little guys at home. Not that I have eaten much of anything figgy in my life, but that’s not the point. The point is, Anna’s show was on for a reason. I was being given a sign: it had come time for me to buckle down and to make these cute little cookies in my own kitchen. I’m not one to ignore carvings in cornfields, so I picked up the goods later that day, and set to it this afternoon.

The figgy newtons (is it wrong that I find it funny that some of you are probably really not enjoying my relentlessness with the “figgy”??) weren’t hard to make, but they did involve a few steps.

I would certainly recommend giving them a go. They were fun to make and delish to eat. Oh, and they only have 1/4 cup of refined sugar in the whole batch. All the stars are aligning, and it appears that this is the sign that you have been waiting for: time for you to get your figgy-newton-making equipment game ready.

Fig(gy) Newtons

Lightly adapted from Sugar

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
Filling:
  • 1 cup diced dried figs
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For assembly:
  • 1 egg mixed with 2 Tbsp water for egg wash
Directions
For dough, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter until dough is a rough, crumbly texture.
Add whole egg and egg yolk and blend in until dough comes together.
Shape into a disc, wrap and chill for an hour.
For filling, combine all ingredients in a small saucepot and bring up to a simmer.
Simmer until the figs absorb all liquid, about 10 minutes.
Let cool and purée in a food processor and chill completely.
Preheat oven to 375 °F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle, just under ¼-inch thick (you may have to let the dough warm up slightly before rolling it out).
Using a knife or pastry cutter, cut strips of dough that are at least 4 ½ inches wide.
Spoon filling (or pipe with a piping bag: this was my favourite part) along center of the strip. Brush left side of pastry dough with egg wash and fold right side of pastry over filling, so that egg washed side meets it. Trim edges.
Lift filled cookie tube to a lightly-greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet and press down to flatten.
Repeat with remaining strips and brush tops with egg wash.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a light golden brown.
Allow cookies to cool, then cut strips into smaller cookies.

They are certainly not overly sweet, but they have a wonderful texture, and a slight tang to them. A nice change from the everyday.

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