Fig Newtons are one of those treats that I remember as a child. The funny thing is that at the time, I considered them a healthy cookie since they were made with fruit. Of course, at the time, I had no idea how unhealthy they really were, what with their high fructose corn syrup and everything. Now that I know more about healthy eating and the damage that artificial sugar can wreak on my health, body and mind, I’m constantly trying to come up with healthier alternatives to classic faves. These homemade honey fig cookies are a healthier twist to the classic Newton. They contain a whole lot of good-for-you stuff without the yuckiness of refined sugar and artificial flavours. I happen to think that they taste even better than the real thing, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Homemade Honey Fig Cookies
Adapted from mywholefoodlife.com
Makes 16 cookies
For the filling
1 lb. fresh figs, chopped
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
For the cookies
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tbsp applesauce
Honey fig jam
1. Place the figs in a large saucepan and add the honey and water. Mix well and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
2. Next, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and let it boil for about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to bring to a simmer and let it simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring often to avoid the honey from burning. As you stir, break down the figs with the back of your spoon to your desired consistency.
3. Once the mixture has thickened, add the lemon juice and zest. Stir well and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let the jam cool.
Honey fig cookies
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Set in the fridge for about 1 hour to allow the dough to firm up.
5. Once the dough has been chilled, flour a work surface with flour and roll the dough out in a rectangular shape using a rolling pin. You want the dough to be about 1/8-inch thick. Cut the dough in half length-wise to have two long rectangles.
6. Spread half the fig jam in the centre of each rectangle, then fold the edges over to create a long roll. Cut the roll into 2-inch pieces. You should get about 8 cookies per roll for a total of 16 cookies.
7. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop in the oven for about 15 minutes.
8. Once baked, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.