Figgy Fig Cookies


(Alternate title: They aren’t cookies, they’re fruit and cake!)

Well, this post is a few days late. It was meant for Friday but Mr. Beagle is finally home from training in sunny San Francisco and I’ve been spending all my free time relaxing with him before our super busy November kicks into high gear.

On Friday though, before Mr. Beagle came home, my mom drove up and spent the day with me. It was really nice to just spend a whole day with her, even if our trip to Plato’s Closet was completely unsuccessful. On the positive side, she did help me clean my entire kitchen and then we messed it up again by baking a huge batch of these amazing little cookies (fruit and cakes).

My mom has always loved Fig Newtons so when I saw a vegan version in my Vegan with a Vengeance Cookbook, I thought it would be a fun mother-daughter-in-the-kitchen-bonding time. We baked a batch pretty much exactly as the recipe stated (save for a few tweaks) and then thought we’d try another batch using the scone batter also in the book. After an official taste test we decided that the cookie batter in the original recipe tastes more like the cake-y texture of real Fig Newtons. We also decided that we liked the fig filling pureed first because it was exactly like the filling in the real Fig Newtons and we didn’t have to bite into any big fig chunks. So, without furter adieu, our lightly tweaked recipe for Fig Not-Ins aka Figgy Fig Cookies:

Ingredients

For the dough:
1/4 c. non-hydrogenated butter substitute (softened)
1/4 c. Nonhydrogenated shortening
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbs. cornstarch (or tapioca starch or arrowroot)
1/4 c. soymilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

For the filling:
1 lb. dried mission figs, chopped
1/2 c. water (we ended up using 1 c. water because the figs were still too dry after 1/2 c.)
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon

For the dough:
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Add cornstarch and mix. Beat in soymilk and vanilla. Add teh flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and combine. Divide the dough into two portions, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour to make the dough firm enough to roll.

For the filling:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes, stirring continually. (We needed to add extra water before the figs started to really get saucy. We also mashed them a little bit with the wooden spoon as we stirred.) Process in a food processor until the consistency of thick jam. (The original recipe did not cal for this but we think this step makes them much easier to eat-no fig chunks- and much more like the original Fig Newtons.) Allow to cool before assembling the cookies.

Assembly:
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle roughly 9×15. Divide the dough into three strips lengthwise. Place the three strips on the baking sheet a few inches apart. Divide the filling among the strips creating a 1/4 inch think layer along the center with about 1/2 space of dough remaining on each side. Roll out the second batch of dough to the same dimensions as the first and cut into three strips lengthwise. Lay the dough over the filling and pinch the edges of the dough to seal it (like a ravioli). Cut each strip into 1 inch sections but do not separate them. Bake for 18 minutes until edges start to turn golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes and then cut each cookie to separate and allow to cook on a rack.

Nom Rating:

Mom: A
They aren’t the super-processed Fig Newtons we’ve all grown up on, but they taste great and the filling is an almost exactly duplicate of the kind in the real cookies.

Me: A
I was surprised by how alike our filling was to the real cookies. The dough though was more like a cookie than the cake texture of the store-bought ones. Still, these are a great little treat. I’d like to try them with various fillings like raspberry or even some sort of chocolate hazelnut.

Also…..

Today I got a sweet little note from Amy at Coffee Talk letting me know that she had graciously given me this sweet award. I’m always so flattered that there are even people out there reading about my life and culinary adventures. So…THANK YOU AMY! You made my night even sweeter! Apparently though, this award comes with rules and here they are:

(1) Put the logo on your blog.
(2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
(3) Nominate at least seven other blogs.
(4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.
(5) Leave a message for your nominee on their blogs.

So as a responsible award recipient, here are my lovely awardees (in no particular order):

1. Lauren at Vegan Girl
2. Veggie Girl
3. Shellyfish at Musings from the Fishbowl
4. Clara at I Heart Cuppycakes
5. Happy Meals and Happy Hour
6. Joanne at The Laid Back Buddhist
7. Jess at Cupcake Punk

All of you have enriched my life with your blogs full of hilarious life stories, witty observations, amazing recipes, beautiful creations, and sharing about your everyday life! I’d love to write each of you a super sweet paragraph about why I love reading your blogs but I just got back from an Engagement Shoot and I’m dead tired. So a simple and sweet “much love” to you all will have to do for now! 🙂

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