honestly, i am not a big fan of fig newtons. store bought ones are usually too sweet and cakey. dirt bike man on the other hand, looooves them. he probably thinks i am making them for him, but the reality of it all is that i'm making them for me to celebrate my impromptu day off from work. i'm gonna wear yoga pants all day, maybe munch on some cheez-its, watch Fred's googley eyes (Fred is my chameleon) and make the best fig newtons EVER! i'm even going to help a friend with a wedding shoot at beautiful Mahoney State Park!
i also want to introduce you to a few stories about my neighbor lady.
story 1) one time as i was driving home, neighbor lady was standing in the middle of the road with a garden hose on full throttle watering the street, passing cars (including mine) and minimal grass giving everyone dirty looks, shaking her fist and cursing up a storm because cars were nearly missing her.
story 2) her son + friend left home for 5 mins, came back and rang the doorbell once...waited...rang again...and waited...then 200 times in a row. neighbor lady still didn't answer. and just like some tricksters in a movie, they proceeded to piss her off from the back of the house...whatever they did, I could definitely hear neighbor lady dropping F bombs from across the street and witnessed at least one bird.
story 3) for fun, she likes to wear this 1 tie dyed shirt and yell at her husband. therefore, neighbor lady's husband likes to spend hours outside leaf blowing, even if that means blowing leaves back into his own driveway multiple times.
story 4) i'm a big-time creeper apparently.
all of that had nothing to do with fig bars...except for the fact i wanted to share them with you just like these newtons! haha, i amuse myself at how pathetically not clever i am sometimes. actually, i tried this amazing graham cracker recipe from smittenkitchen and decided it would be the perfect dough for fig newtons. made like a shortbread dough, the golden brown cookie has a hint of honey, that softens after baking because the filling is so sweet & moist. fig newton disbelievers who you share these with will be pleasantly surprised that they do like fig newtons after all.
homemade fig newtons
makes about 40
1 8.5 oz jar organic fig spread (can be found at whole foods)
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c dark brown sugar
1 t baking soda
3/4 t kosher salt
1/2 t orange zest (valencia oranges are good!)
7 T very cold butter, cut into 7 slices
1/3 c raw honey (i used It's All About Bees brand)
5 T soy milk (or milk)
2 T pure vanilla extract
1) combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and orange zest together. add cold butter and cut into flour mixture with a biscuit cutter until very well incorporated (butter pieces should be smaller than pea sized).
2) whisk together, honey, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl. add to flour mixture.
3) cut liquid into flour mixture until well incorporated, dough will be fairly sticky.
4) divide dough into two portions by wrapping each half in plastic wrap and forming into a disk. freeze until firm about 35 minutes.
5) roll out each 1/2 into a square or rectangular shape with a 1/8" thickness. then using a pizza cutter or butter knife, cut into 3" strips.
6) spread fig filling onto the center of each dough strip. then using a pastry scraper to get under the dough, gently fold each side of the strip up to meet in the middle.
7) place strip seam side down onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.
8) bake at 350 F for 12-14 minutes until dough is puffed and golden brown. let cool on baking sheet until almost completely cooled.
9) transfer cookie to cutting board. using a serrated knife, cut off rough ends of cookie, then cut into 2" long pieces to make 1 1/2" x 2" fig newton cookies!!