Nov 12, 2013

Blueberry Fig Newtons. Vegan & Oil-free.

Until the late 19th century, many physicians believed that most illnesses were related to digestion problems and recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit. Fig rolls were the ideal solution to this advice, although they remained a locally-produced and handmade product.

In 1891, a Philadelphia baker and fig-lover, Charles Roser, invented and then patented a machine that inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. The Kennedy Biscuit Company (later becoming Nabisco) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, purchased Roser’s recipe and began the mass production of “Fig Newtons.” They were named Newtons because the town of Cambridge was originally called Newton some 200 years prior.

Now that you know a little history of this unforgettable, vintage cookie that has traveled through time (and lunch pails across America), how would you like to bake your own? Without any sugar, oil or artificial ingredients? Yes? That’s what I said!

Ingredients:

~ for the filling

~ for the dough

dry:

  • 2½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour

wet:

  • ¼ cup cashew butter
  • 1 TBS flax meal
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ TBS pure vanilla extract

here’s what they look like before baking
Directions:
  1. Roughly chop the figs and place them and the remaining filling ingredients in a food processor. Process until a thick paste is achieved. Set aside. IMPORTANT: Dried figs often still have their stems intact. Make sure to remove the stems from all the figs. Sometimes they can hide pretty well in those crevices!
  2. Combine the dry ingredients for the dough in a mixing bowl. 
  3. Place the wet ingredients for the dough in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  5. Shape the dough into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions.
  8. Roll each portion out, between 2 sheets of wax paper or parchment, into a 10″ long by 5″ wide rectangle (see photo above).
  9. Spread ¼ of the filling onto one side of each rectangle and gently fold the empty side over on top of the filling side, mending the seams and shaping the dough so that the rectangles are even.
  10. Bake on a parchment lined tray for 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
  11. Let cool a little and slice the bars into the size that you want for the fig newton cookies. I cut mine into 2″ pieces and the bars were a little wider than that so they were slightly rectangular instead of the traditional square Newtons.
I revised this recipe from Elana’s Pantry, making them oil-free and sweetening with dates.
Before becoming vegan, I used a lot of her recipes. She has a beautiful blog. Thank you
Elana for your years of hard work and dedication to gluten-free living!

Makes about 20 Newtons. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

7 responses to “Blueberry Fig Newtons. Vegan & Oil-free.”

  1. we used to call these pillow biscuits….or occasionally squashed fly biscuits (although I think they were a different version). Gotta get me some figs so I can try this recipe out…..I loved those biscuits when I was a kid – my Dad's mum always had them in a pink biscuit tin…..haven't bought then in forever as they are soooooooo unhealthy and have palm oil in which I won't use (call them orangutan biscuits now :()…..I want the kids to be able to experience part of my childhood though so will give these a red hot go.

  2. Helyn says:

    I love it, Rach… do give them "a red hot go" !!! Funny, as a kid I never enjoyed them but I sure do like these! :))

  3. Anonymous says:

    These look sooooooooo delicious!

  4. holyrollin' cookie dough…these are spinningly fabulous! Really truly, I want to do a cookie happy dance. 🙂
    I've always loved fig newtons and blueberries…and cashew butter and dates…and you've magically swirled them all into one yumful masterpiece!
    Many thanks for sharing the recipe…cheers!

  5. Helyn says:

    How adorable are YOU?! Thanks for the feedback. Glad I could help with the dance! :))

  6. These look amazing! My husband will LOVE these! Thank you, Helyn!!! You are so gifted, and have contributed such a YUMMO presence to our family table! Much appreciation 😀

  7. Helyn says:

    You're so welcome! And thank you for your positive feedback! :_

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