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Homemade Fruit Newtons

Every day I walk out my front door en-route to the bus stop to retrieve my boys.  And each time I pass by my neighbors yard, I longingly eye his fig laden fruit tree.  The juicy green and purple spheres dangle loosely from the bushes, constantly tempting me to pick just one.  Or maybe two.  When my husband informed me that we had been given the green light to pick to our hearts content, you can guess who was out there without a moments notice, bucket in one hand and clippers in the other.

A view of my neighbors fig tree

A sampling of the fruity fare

What I ended up with was a bowl filled with enough delicious figs to be dangerous in the kitchen.   As standard as it is, when I think of figs, I think back to my childhood and how much I loved munching on a good ol’ fashioned fruit newton.  As I gazed down at my bowl of treasure, visions of soft chewy cookies dancing through my head, I knew I had to make some right then and there.

Lucky for me, his tree is just getting warmed up, so I’ll be heading out for a second batch of figs in preparation for homemade jam in another week or two.

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So who wants a fruit newton?  We’ll begin by creating the figgy filling.  And let me just make a note here that you can sub any flavor jam if you’d like to shorten up the time and it will still work beautifully.  So get creative and use your favorites!

For my filling I used figs (of course), but I also threw a few frozen raspberries in for good measure.  The flavor combo of fig and raspberry together reminded me a bit of rhubarb, which made me one happy fig eating girl.

Cook the fruit down with a pat or two of butter, some brown sugar, water, salt, and vanilla.  Feel free to mash it a bit with a potato masher once it gets steaming.

Once it’s good and cooked through, grab up your immersion blender and swirl it until it’s good and smooth.

Now stick it into the fridge and let it cool down completely.

Let’s push on to the dough.  Begin with a basic butter/sugar creaming, add a few more wet ingredients and set to the side.  In a separate bowl you’ll combine your dry ingredients together.  I added wheat germ to my batter because it’s not only uber healthy, but it helps to give it that irresistible whole grain look once you cook it up.

Slowly add the dry to the wet, a bit at a time, mixing after each addition.  Once your dough is finished, you’ll pop it into the fridge for a couple hours to cool back down.

After everything is good and cool, it’s time to do a little assembly.  Rip off a hunk of the dough and roll it out thin.

Figure out how wide you want your bars to be and slice the dough into a rectangle. I used the lines on my cutting board to make them about 2.5″ wide.

Just a tip, once you’ve cut your dough, before you add the filling, take a spatula and gently run it under the entire width of the dough to make sure it isn’t sticking to the rolling surface.  There’s nothing worse than spreading the filling only to realize that your dough is happily attached and isn’t planning to budge for anything.

Now, spread a hearty strip of fig filling over the center of the dough rectangle.

Fold one flap over and then the other to seal in the sauce.  Repeat the process with the rest of your dough and filling.

And this is the tricky part, transfer those finished cookie logs to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  I used a large spatula paired with a long chefs knife to slide the cookie over.  It was relatively pain free and thankfully there were no casualties.

Slip your baking sheet into a toasty oven and let your cookies bake up until done.  Allow them about 5-10 minutes of quality cooling time and then slice into cookie sized rectangles.

These little guys taste great the first day and even better once they’ve had some time sit.  The dough gets softer and melds beautifully with the fruit filling.  So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to bite in and enjoy a tasty childhood treat.

Homemade Fruit Newtons

Total Time: 2 hours 30 min

Ingredients:

For the Bars:

1 Stick (8 Tbsp) Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
11/4 Cups Flour
1/4 Cup Wheat Germ
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt

For the Fig Raspberry Filling:

1/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
8 Fresh Figs, Quartered
1 Cup Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Water
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Pinch Salt

Directions:

To make the fig filling, add all the filling ingredients to a small saucepan.

Cook covered on medium heat at a gentle boil for five minutes.

Uncover, mash a bit if desired, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the pan from the heat and emulsify the fruit.

Place into a separate bowl and set in the fridge to cool completely.

For the dough, cream together the butter and the brown sugar.

Mix in the egg and the vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry to the wet, a bit at a time, mixing in between each addition.

Once the dough is combined form it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge to cool for an hour or two.

Grab a hunk of the chilled dough and roll it out thin on a well floured surface.

Slice out the desired size rectangle. I made mine approximately 2.5"x12".

Slide a thin spatula carefully underneath the dough to make sure there's no sticking.

Add a hearty line of fig filling down the center of the rectangle.

Fold one side over and then the other to cover the filling.

Transfer the cookie to a parchment lined baking sheet. I used both a long thin spatula and my 8" chefs knife to guide the cookie up and aid in transfer.

Place the cookies into an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.

Let the cookies cool for about 10-15 minutes and then slice them into the desired size.

Note:  I am working with C H Guenther as a part of their blogger advocate program and am being compensated for my time.  As always, all opinions are strictly my own.