We love Fig Newtons or Fig Rolls as I have always known them as.
I have 2 recipes to test one uses a whole egg… one egg yolks…I use Baking Powder the other uses Baking Soda…Also, one precooks the filling and one doesn’t so there are a few differences…How much difference will there be in the finished result…
For the Sweet Pastry Dough…
- 4 oz salted butter softened
- ¼ c brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp fresh orange zest
- 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ c whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
For the Fig Filling*
- 6 oz dried black mission figs
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp honey
Let’s Bake! Fig Newtons…
In a medium-size bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy I did mine by hand but you could use an electric hand mixer, and beat for 2-3 min.
Beat in the room temperature egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest until well combined.
Add the flours, baking powder, and salt. Mix until a soft cookie dough forms…it is very soft… With your hands, shape the dough into a ball. The recipe stated wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
I really dislike saying use plastic wrap I don’t have any in my kitchen so I just cover the bowl with a damp cloth…I would like to see TV and famous chefs coming up with an alternative they need to do more! As every time I turn on a cooking show plastic wrap is used for everything…
For the Filling
While the dough is chilling, make the filling. In a small saucepan, place the dried figs, I trimmed the little stalks, water, orange juice, and cinnamon. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, until the figs begin to plump up.
Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Then, transfer the mixture to the bowl of your food processor. Add the honey and blend until thick paste forms. Set the filling aside.
This was the fun part…Not!
Preheat oven to 325F/177C
Line a large baking tray with a baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
On a floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a 10-inch x 14-inch rectangle. Use a knife or pizza cutter to make the outer edges even.
Cut the dough lengthwise into three strips, roughly 3.5 inches x 14 inches…That rolled out fine although trying to fold it over the fig filling and then transfer it to the baking sheet was another issue…
Then divide the fig filling paste between each strip of dough, forming it into a line down the centre of each strip. Press the filling to roughly 1-inch wide with your fingers or the back of a spoon…at this point, I didn’t think there would be enough for the 3 strips…
Carefully fold each edge of dough over the top of the fig paste, making a log. Press the top to seal the dough slightly….this is where it definitely went pete tong(wrong)…the pastry was too soft, not dry sticky…
Place the logs, seam side down, onto your lined baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart…as the pastry was so soft that was also a problem…
Bake the cookies for 17-20 minutes, until the logs feel dry and slightly firm when touched. Remove the cookies from the oven and cut each log into 8-9 cookies while they are still warm.
While still warm, place the cut cookies into an airtight container. (This will soften the cookies as they cool.)
The plus side? My fussy taste testers loved them and said the texture was just right on the pastry, the filling they liked and said it reminded them of Christmas ..they just commented that they looked like a car crash…
I am not sure if it was the heat and humidity here although I generally don’t have a problem with pastry…The second batch I rolled the pastry and put it in the freezer it was a tad better but still not perfect… If any of you pastry chefs out there have a solution I am happy to hear it/try it…Thank you in advance…
The pastry was not dry it was sticky but I didn’t want to add too much more flour or knead it too much…but cooked they tasted ok and my testers liked them… I just think the pastry could have been a little firmer…
But I will definitely be ordering more figs they were really nice and I will be making some more…with a few adjustments to the recipe but the orange zest was a nice touch to the pastry.
Thank you for joining me today in my test kitchen where everything doesn’t always go to plan but that’s baking and we will be trying again…x