Homemade Fig Newton Recipe - Dessert for Two (2024)

Homemade fig newtons recipe from scratch. Fig newtons made in a bar instead of a rolled cookie-so much easier and they taste just the same!

Homemade Fig Newton Recipe - Dessert for Two (1)

Fig Bar Recipe

Words can hardly describe how much I love these. And I can sit here and tell you that they are approximately 1-million times better than the store-bought ones, but you won't believe me until you try them.

I get it. It's my job to bake things and tell you how amazing they are. I do my best to convince you to bake what I bake. It probably falls on deaf ears after 718 recipes on this site. But, I will say it again: these cookies are definite must-makes.

What is a Fig Newton?

A fig newton is a soft cookie with a sweet fig filling wrapped in a very tender, chewy dough. They’re not overly sweet, and they’re definitely for people who love the sweetness of figs and the tiny pops of their seeds.

Reasons you will love these Homemade Fig Newtons

  1. When you steep dried figs in apple juice (or water + a squeeze of honey) and then puree them, the filling is more flavorful and moist than store-bought fig newtons. It's not jammy and thick like store-bought, it's fruity and soft.
  2. The crust is an identical copy of store-bought, but here's the thing: after sitting out uncovered for 1 day, the crust develops a thin layer of crispiness on top. And it's addictive.
  3. They are made with a small amount of whole wheat flour. In my book, any time whole grains are involved, a dessert is instantly healthy and therefore guilt-free. And yes, you can use this information to justify a homemade fig newton binge or a homemade graham cracker binge alike.

I have to be honest, guys. There is a short list of recipes on this site that I've made more than a dozen times. A few are: my 15-minute homemade puff pastry, quick no-yeast cinnamon rolls, ricotta gnocchi, wine slushies, and melting sweet potatoes.

But these homemade fig newtons? I made them the second I arrived in Dallas at my parents house.

I need lots of people to make these and confer with me that they are, in fact, delicious & better than the original.Pleasehold some back and eat them on day 2 to taste the crisp crust. Just do it for me.

Homemade Fig Bars ingredients

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  • Dried Figs. We need 8 ounces (half a pound) of dried figs for this recipe. You can use Turkish or Calimyrna figs that have been dried completely. They should be somewhat soft and chewy, never overly hard or crisp. Remove the stems and cut each fig into quarters.
  • Apple Juice. We’re going to rehydrate the figs in apple juice to add sweetness to them, and help them blend into a soft, jam-like filling.
  • Lemon Juice. A small amount of fresh lemon juice (two teaspoons) balances the flavors of the sweet figs.
  • All-Purpose Flour. Regular, all-purpose bleached flour makes up half of the dough here. You can fluff it and scoop it into a cup and level it off, or you can measure it by weight before using.
  • Whole Wheat Flour. We’re using a small amount of whole wheat flour to mimc the heartiness and thickness of the store-bought variety of fig newtons.
  • Baking Powder.
  • Salt.
  • Butter. I always bake with unsalted butter and add a bit of salt to the dough.
  • Brown Sugar. I recommend light brown sugar for this recipe.
  • Egg. One large egg.
  • Vanilla Extract.

How to make Fig Newtons

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Simmer the figs, apple juice*, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the figs are very soft and the juice is syrupy, 25 to 30 minutes. There should only be 3-4 tablespoons of liquid remaining in the pan when they're done.

Let the mixture cool slightly. Puree the figs in a food processor with the lemon juice until the mixture has a thick jam consistency, about 8 seconds.

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Homemade Fig Newton Recipe - Dessert for Two (6)

Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

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Homemade Fig Newton Recipe - Dessert for Two (8)

Beat in the egg and vanilla just until combined.

Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Very important: Reserve ¾ cup of the dough for the topping!

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Homemade Fig Newton Recipe - Dessert for Two (10)

Sprinkle the remaining dough mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer with a greased spatula. Bake the bottom crust until just beginning to turn golden, about 20 minutes.

Now, take the ¾ cup of dough you reserved and roll between 2 sheets of greased parchment paper into an 8-inch square; trim the edges of the dough as needed to measure exactly 8 inches. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment, transfer it to a baking sheet and place it in the freezer until needed.

Spread the fig mixture evenly over the crust. Unwrap the frozen, reserved top crust and lay it over the filling, pressing lightly to adhere.

Bake the bars until the top crust is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let the fig bars cool completely in the pan, set on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil, cut into squares, and serve.

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How to store a Fig Newton

These soft cookies should be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container. To maintain their tender texture, try adding a slice of bread to the storage container. This helps keep the dough moist and prevents them from drying out. I do not recommend fridge or freezer storage.

Fig Newton Bars FAQs

Are Fig Newton bars healthy?

You can always look in the recipe card below for full nutritional information. In my opinion, because these fig newtons are made with whole wheat flour and dried fruit, they are a high fiber sweet treat that is somewhat healthy. Portion control is always your friend.

What is the best way to preserve fresh figs?

I have 3 fig trees in my yard, and they tend to produce too many figs at the same time. To store them, I pick them, remove the stem, and lay them flat to freeze. After they’re frozen solid, I stack them in freezer bags or mason jars for easier storage. I often make a small batch of fig jam for all of the overly ripe, mushy figs that come off the tree.

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I made this recipe from America's Test Kitchen's new cookbook: The Perfect Cookie. I really love this new cookbook of theirs, and I will be baking from it all holiday-season long!

America's Test Kitchen is the place I send people for fail-proof recipes. If you're not familiar with America's Test Kitchen (or, ATK as I call them), their recipes are some of the best tested, written, and scientifically-researched recipes out there. And that just makes the baking nerd in me so happy.

I own so many of their books, that they have a dedicated shelf in my cookbook library.

If you love figs as much as me, try my Fall Sangria with figs!

More Favorites from Dessert for Two

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  • Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe
  • Beef Chuck Roast Instant Pot

Yield: 9 small bars

Homemade Fig Newton Bars

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Homemade fig newtons made with dried figs and a whole wheat brown sugar crust. Even better than store-bought!

Prep Time40 minutes

Cook Time30 minutes

Total Time1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Fig Filling:

  • 8 ounces dried Turkish or Calimyrna figs, stemmed and quartered
  • 2 cups apple juice*
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For the crust:

  • ¾ cup (3 ¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (2 /3/4 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed (5 ¼ ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. FOR THE FILLING: Simmer the figs, apple juice*, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the figs are very soft and the juice is syrupy, 25 to 30 minutes. There should only be 3-4 tablespoons of liquid remaining in the pan when they're done.
  2. Let the mixture cool slightly. Puree the figs in a food processor with the lemon juice until the mixture has a thick jam consistency, about 8 seconds.
  3. FOR THE CRUST: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a parchment both directions, and then grease the paper.
  4. Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.
  6. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.
  7. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
  8. Reserve ¾ cup of the dough for the topping!
  9. Sprinkle the remaining dough mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer with a greased spatula.
  10. Bake the crust until just beginning to turn golden, about 20 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, roll the reserved ¾ cup of dough for the top crust between 2 sheets of greased parchment paper into an 8-inch square; trim the edges of the dough as needed to measure exactly 8 inches. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment, transfer it to a baking sheet and place it in the freezer until needed.
  12. Spread the fig mixture evenly over the crust. Unwrap the frozen, reserved top crust and lay it over the filling, pressing lightly to adhere. Honestly, this part doesn't have to be perfect; you can see in the photos I had some tears and holes and I just patched it. Once you cut the bars, no one will notice!
  13. Bake the bars until the top crust is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
  14. Let the fig bars cool completely in the pan, set on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil, cut into squares, and serve.

Notes

*If you lack apple juice, you can use water with 1 tablespoon of honey added.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 206Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 113mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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Homemade Fig Newton Recipe - Dessert for Two (2024)
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