I was in the grocery store the other day, perusing the cookie isle, and I noticed the fig newtons. Fig newtons were always a favorite of mine growing up and even through college. I was always the “healthy” eater so I think it was my way of eating cookies that I considered somewhat healthy. Truth is, they are still loaded with sugar and butter, but the actual fig part is pretty good for you. Figs have a ton of fiber and vitamins in them so as a fruit they are a good one. However, a fig newton is still a cookie. This got me thinking that I could make fig newtons and I could make them better and healthier…..and vegan! So, after pulling myself out of the junk food isle I went home to create a good-for-you (sort of) fig newton. Here’s the recipe I ended up coming up with:
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp corn starch
pinch of salt
1/2 cup dried figs
1. Puree the dried figs with a tiny bit of water and honey. The mixture doesn’t have to be completely smooth. Set aside.
2. Combine the Earth Balance and sugar together in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
3. Add the almond milk, vanilla, and nutmeg and mix well
4. Combine the flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt together in a separate bowl and gradually begin mixing into the batter until all the flour is combined.
5. The dough should be firm enough to work with. Take the dough and roll it out between two pieces of wax paper until 1/2 inch thick
6. Make a vertical line down the center with a knife and spread the fig mixture onto half of the dough.
7. Fold the part of the dough without the figs on top of the other half sealing the figs in the middle like a sandwich
8. Cut into bars and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly brown and set.
Ok, so mine did turn out slightly different than the original, store bought cookie, but for my first attempt at my own fig newton, I think they turned out pretty darn good. So good that the batch I made did not last very long in the house…. 😉 Plus, this recipe is much healthier. The Earth Balance cuts down the saturated fat, the whole wheat flour adds fiber and the figs really are very healthy for you. Due to the figs, these work great as an afternoon energy boost. I think I would pick these over the processed kind any day 🙂 I hope you enjoy them too!