fig newtons

I have grandma tastes. I don’t have a pocketbook full of butterscotch candies or a plastic cover on the sofa or anything, but I’m sitting on it right now and think our elders are probably onto something, especially when you have two kids with an unnatural contempt for napkins. But I will stan [Grandma Deb has Googled this word, feels ready to give it a spin] for thick cardigans, tins of Danish butter cookies, Walkers shortbread, and Fig Newtons.

stand mixer doughfood processor doughoops forgot to chop themeasy peasy

I’ve wanted to make a homemade version of fig newtons since I started this site nearly 12 years ago. In that time, I have bookmarked a dozen versions that claimed to be like the original packaged cookie but all seemed off somehow — too sweet or too wholegrain, too muddled with other flavors, not actually shaped like the original, or just so fussy, if even I couldn’t muster the motivation to make them, it didn’t bode well for talking anyone else into it. I am glad I waited because last fall pastry wizard Stella Park’s BraveTart cookbook came out and if there is anyone that can be trusted to come up with a version as good as the original but with a more appetizing ingredient list, it is her.

fig pastebegin to wrap cookie around fillingfinish the roll, overlapping as neededready to bakefrom the ovenslice with sharp knife while warm

Have you seen this book? It’s incredible; part American classics (hello: Wonder Bread, Nilla Wafers, and McDonald’s Apple Pie Turnovers), part history book (did you know that the fig newton was patented as a “fruit biscuit” in 1892 and was likely inspired by 19th century fig cakes, spiced and layered with thick jam?) but I bought it for the breathtaking Oreos on the cover alone, how could I not, please don’t tell my existing favorite recipe.

homemade fig newtons

Park’s version of fig newtons uses dried figs in a no-cook filling that’s as concentrated and jammy but firm as the originals. The cookies have butter and brown sugar for a better-than-original taste, and the instructions are about as simple and straightforward as I’ve seen for a cookie that’s a bit of a structural wonder. The resulting cookie has the unique cakiness of the original, as well as the mild sweetness, so mild that they such a hit for afternoon snacks, at playdates, and even for the occasional breakfast cookie.



One year ago: Almond Horn Cookies
Two years ago: Eggs in Purgatory, Puttanesca-Style, Spring Chicken Salad Toasts, and Caramel Brown Sugar Oranges with Yogurt
Three years ago: Carrot Graham Layer Cake, Wild Mushroom Pate and Why You Should Always Toast Your Nuts
Four years ago: Three-Bean Chili and Asparagus-Stuffed Eggs
Five years ago: Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast
Six years ago: Over-The-Top Mushroom Quiche and French Onion Soup
Seven years ago: Spinach and Chickpeas, Bakewell Tart, Romesco Potatoes, and Baked Kale Chips
Eight years ago: French Onion Soup
Nine years ago: Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Coulis, Beef Empanadas, Bialys, and Chewy Amaretti Cookies
Ten years ago: Fast White Bean Stew, Whole Wheat Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts and Feta, and Caramel Walnut Upside-Down Banana Cake
Eleven years ago: Arborio Rice Pudding, Potato Rosemary Bread

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
1.5 Years Ago: Magic Apple-Plum Cobbler
2.5 Years Ago: Broccoli Cheddar Soup and S’More Cupcakes
3.5 Years Ago: Cucumber Lemonade, Sunken Apple and Honey Cake, Latke Waffles, and The Crispy Egg
4.5 Years Ago: Pink Lemonade Popsicles, Zucchini Parmesan Crisps, and Baked Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Fig Newtons

These are amazing, so close to the original, but even better because they’re from real ingredients, you’ll be sad when they’re done. More notes at the end of the recipe.

  • 10 tablespoons (140 grams or 5 ounces) unsalted butter, cold is fine, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams or 4 ounces) light brown sugar, gently packed
  • 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) honey or golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon orange or apple juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 1/4 cups (295 grams or 10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • Filling
  • 12 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups or 340 grams) plump, sticky dried mission figs, stems trimmed
  • 1/3 cup (100 grams or 3 1/2 ounces) applesauce, any variety
  • 2 tablespoons orange or apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

    Make the dough in a stand mixer: Combine butter, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until fluffy, which will take up to 5 minutes; scrape the bowl down a few times to help it along. Add orange juice, then add the egg and yolks, beating between them, and continue beating until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and sprinkle in the flour, mixing until well combined.

    Or make the dough in a food processor: Combine butter, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and honey in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until fluffy, which will take a minute or two; scrape the bowl down a few times to help it along. Add orange juice, then add the egg and yolks, blending between them, and continue blending until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and sprinkle in the flour, pulsing until well combined.

    Both methods: Scrape dough onto a piece of plastic and wrap it in a flat disc. Chill for one hour.

    Meanwhile, make the filling: Cut the figs in half (although I skipped this because mine were so soft and it wasn’t a problem). Pulse with applesauce, orange juice, and zest in a food processor until roughly chopped, then process to a thick, smooth paste. Scrape the bowl and blade with a flexible spatula, then process a minute more to ensure absolutely no chunks remain. Transfer to a sturdy piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip if you have one, or just a sturdy freezer bag with a 1/2-inch opening snipped from the end (both methods worked for me) and set aside until needed, up to 24 hours.

    Assemble your cookies: Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll your cool dough between two large pieces of parchment paper to about a 15-inch square, however, both times I made them, I couldn’t get mine this thin. What’s most important is that your dough is 15 inches wide; if it comes up a little short in the other direction, the cookies still work. If you dough has gotten too soft and wants to stick to the parchment, just slide it onto the back of a baking sheet and into the freezer for 2 to 3 minutes, after which it should be easy to peel off the top sheet. Cut dough into four 3 1/4-inch strips.

    Holding the bag at a 90-degree angle just above the surface of the dough, pipe a just-shy-of-1-inch-wide tube of filling down the center of each portion. Use your bottom sheet of parchment as a sling to fold a long flap of dough over each strip, press it against the filling, then continue to use the parchment to roll the dough the rest of the way over. Dough will overlap a little.

    This part will be terrifying no matter what, but take your time to loosen, slide a spatula underneath, and lift this log onto your prepared baking sheet. Did yours break? One of mine did and I found if I pressed the broken parts back together, it “healed” pretty well in the oven. Gently press logs just a tiny bit to begin to flatten them into the traditional fig newton shape. Repeat with remaining strips of dough and filling. All four bars should fit on a single sheet.

    Bake: Until the bars are puffed and firm, without any significant browning, about 15 minutes. Immediately cut into 1-inch pieces with a sharp or serrated knife. Let them fully cool on tray, then transfer them to an airtight container overnight to achieve the uniquely cakey texture. (If you eat them right away, they’ll seem a little dry.) Store for up to 1 week at room temperature or up to a month in the fridge. I found after the initial softening, my cookies did best at room temperature when the lid was ajar, or else they got too soft.

    Do ahead: The dough can chilled for up to one week. If it chills for more than an hour, you should soften it at room temperature for 30 minutes before using it. The preserves can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks; bring to room temperature before using.

    Fig Newton-Taschen [March 2023 update]: This recipe makes excellent hamantaschen, the triangular cookies for the Jewish holiday of Purim. I use a 3-inch cutter and find that I only use 2/3 of the filling, piped or spooned in a blob in the center. They bake in 10 to 12 minutes; keep an eye on them so they don’t get too dark.

    More Notes:

  • I nixed the warm spices (1 teaspoon orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon) in the cookie dough that are a nod to the real originals; my fig newton experience began in the package, and I longed for this spice-free effect. (But couldn’t resist a little orange zest in the filling, as it’s so good here.) I used apple juice where orange juice was called for, but again, this is just my preference. The original recipe calls for 3 egg yolks in the dough, and no whole eggs. I found that I could use 1 whole egg in place of 2 of the 3 yolks without compromising the dough at all, and my recipe above reflects this.
  • I made them both in a stand mixer and a food processor; I preferred the food processor for the dough, but of course I always do. I found you could skip softening the butter, regardless of method, but you need to really and truly beat it until it is fluffy, which will take a minute or two longer.
  • The first time I made them, I rolled them out, as directed, on a floured counter, but I found it easier (and less sticking- and crack-prone) the second time, when I rolled out between two sheets of parchment paper without flour. The resulting cookies are much more smooth, and bent more easily over the filling without cracking.
  • Psst, Trader Joe’s sells these figs in exactly a 12-ounce container.
  • To get the cake-like effect of the original, once cool, place the cookies in an airtight container. If they seem too soft after a day or so, you might find you need to do a little lid on and lid off time to keep yours tender but not crumbly. It will be absolutely worth it.

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155 comments on fig newtons

  1. Sallyt

    I love Stella Parks, and I also cannot tell you how much I love your notes at the end, because they are so in the vein of how detail oriented she is, and also so incredibly helpful! I have made two cakes from bravetart, and both have been great. Have you made anything else from her book?

    (Minor typo: softened the butter in the notes section should read softening the butter)

  2. Brittany W.

    How do you feel about freezing these? Bake and do a little lid on and off time and then freeze, or just bake and put on a sheet pan in the freezer to flash freeze before putting in a bag? Also, I think you meant to put the word “filling” in where it says “cookie” the second time on the ingredients list. Thanks!

  3. Liz

    Okay but what about Raspberry Newtons? I used to love them so much I asked my parents to ship me two boxes as a care package for my semester abroad in Ireland. And they don’t make them anymore! Do you think I could simply substitute raspberry jam for the filling here?

    1. Leah

      Was just coming here to say that I long for the raspberry ones! The apple-cinnamon were also delicious. Can’t wait to check out the book.

    1. Grey

      It might depend on your grandma. My Grandma Joy was the most loving, patient woman in the world and her canned tomatoes were legendary. But no one misses her cooking, for good reason.

  4. eclecticdeb

    I’ve made these a number of times. Especially delicious with some sea salt and rosemary sprinkled on top. Adds a great “grown up” flavor.

  5. Jill

    This needs some editing. You have both parts listed as “cookie”. 1 large egg yolks and the directions say to add the YOLKS to the dough.

  6. ruth m.

    Could I swap out whole wheat flour for the AP? If so, how would that change baking time/storage? (I’m not so worried about changing the taste, I’m looking for health reasons)

    1. deb

      I wouldn’t do a full swap and expect them to be as bendy and tender, the recipe would likely need other adjustments. I might try a partial (1/3) and then use the original suggestion of 3 yolks instead of mine, of 1 egg plus 1 yolk.

      1. Angela

        I tried the 1/3 whwh and 3 yolks. Very tasty and good texture, though I struggled with the dough being super sticky and hard to roll and lift off the parchment, regardless of the temperature (I tried both letting it warm up and chilling). Not sure if the problem had to do with the substitutions.

    2. Lisa Feldstein

      Ruth M., I would also suggest using white whole wheat flour, instead of the red (“regular”) WW. I find it works better when subbing WW in for AP.

  7. Sara Daniel

    Hi Deb, you TOTALLY made my day with this post. I’ve been waiting for you to post a Fig Newton recipe for YEARS.
    I live in Israel and I’m not sure I’ll be able to find dried mission figs. What would you recommend as a substitute? Regular dried figs? I can usually only find the beige ones – how would you spruce them up?

    1. deb

      Maybe a mix of figs and dates? Look to my pictures for an idea of how thick you want it to be (quite); you might need to adjust the applesauce or juice accordingly but it should definitely work.

  8. And I totally had to Google “stan” because I’d never heard the word. (And with that, numerous stories of Stan Lee and elder abuse. Poor Stan.)

    I received this cookbook for Chanukah this year, and it really is a wonder. My girls basically did the entire Oreo’s recipe by themselves and they were a smash hit. The filling was a little frightening, but it turned out to be dead on.

    Happy baking, Deb.

  9. Françoise

    Please, how do you roll dough between two sheets of parchment?! Whenever I’ve tried this, it slips like crazy all over my counter. There must be a technique I’m missing? Thank you!

    1. Julie

      I have a rolling pin with handles, but when I roll using this method (which is always, now that Deb has shown me the way), I don’t use the handles at all because of this issue… the dough and the rolling pin just slide – no rolling at all. Now I just put my hands directly on the pin, pushing mostly downward, forcing it to roll manually. I might as well use a broom handle like my grandma claims she did! I hope this works for you!

    1. deb

      I would give it a try, maybe a teaspoon of bourbon for some of the juice. You might need to fiddle a little to get the right consistency (thick — see my photos) but I think it would work.

  10. Laura W.

    I used to have this problem, too, and it drove me crazy that countless recipes called for this process that I was sure was impossible! I’ve found that if I put pressure on the middle of the rolling pin with the palms of my hands (instead of holding the handles on the sides ), the parchments will stay in place. It’s a bit of a touchy-feely exercise, though. For extra insruance, you can also dampen the counter and deploy some tape on the back of the bottom sheet.

  11. Amber Banerjee

    I can’t wait to make these! I’ve followed Brave Tart through Food52’s Piglet competition and definitely want to buy the book. Thanks, as always, for the details and notes to successfully execute your recipes :)

  12. I love your recipes, but this time you’ve really teased me. I *love* Walker’s Shortbread, but I can’t always find it locally. Have you, by any chance, come up with a good recipe for this? I’ve tried so many shortbread recipes, and none are quite right.

  13. Renee

    Deb! I’ve been waiting for this recipe!!!! Do you think it would work with other dried fruit beaidea figs? Dried strawberries, for example????

    1. deb

      I haven’t worked with dried strawberries but I think this filling could be flexible, it’s mostly about getting the consistency thick but pipe-able like a jammy paste — erm, perhaps “toothpaste” consistency, though of course not smooth.

  14. Sandy Lentz

    Deb you have rescued fig newtons in my eyes! My previous experience with them was of packaged ones: dry, tasteless “cookie” surrounding gritty, thick, sugary filling. Ugh! The yard in our son’s new house has fig trees, so I will make them with his fresh figs. Recipe changes if I use fresh ripe figs?

      1. Sandy Lentz

        Thanks, Deb. It will be fun to try. Our son already made jam from his figs; I may have to have a “discussion” with him about allocating some to fig newtons. :)

    1. deb

      Probably. I might hold back the tablespoon of juice until you’re sure you need it. Again, look to the pictures for the ideal texture but you’re looking for something quick thick and not runny at all.

  15. Anna

    Okay, because I can’t leave well enough alone, what if I wanted to add chocolate to the filling? Any thoughts on how you might approach it?

  16. gfy

    I made a vegan version of this recipe and while the dough melted quite a bit even when chilled first, they tasted amazing! I LOVE stella parks for her stellar -ha- humor and deft explanations of the science at work in the recipes. Somehow found her blog in it’s early days and followed her to serious eats.

    All I did for the vegan version was to sub earth balance for butter, used coconut sugar (which is what I had on hand) and equal amounts of aquafaba for the egg. I had to just toss any thought of a sub for the egg yolk out the window and see what happened. Turns out the dough was verrrrry soft…I added more flour but not too much (I was impatient to get them in the oven), then chilled them in the freezer til firm (probably should have frozen over night) before baking with a hawks eye. Tasted amazing even if they were not perfectly shaped, so considered them a huge success!

  17. Grant

    So glad you baked these! You and Stella are my two baking idols, so this is like some dorky, creepy fanfic of mine come true. Hey, let’s pretend that sentence didn’t happen, okay?

    I made these as written in the cookbook last month and loved them! I actually enjoyed the orange zest and cinnamon you omitted from the dough, and the soft texture that steaming them produced. I guess it’s a matter of preference. Reading this post makes me miss them so.

    1. Grant

      Oh, I did accidentally swap Turkish figs for Mission figs because I didn’t make a proper grocery list. They worked deliciously, though!

  18. deb

    Not to bury the lede or anything, but I cannot believe I forgot to tell you that I turned some of the dough scraps into fig newton-taschen (i.e. fig newton hamantaschen). See here.

        1. deb

          Gah, can’t find the finished picture but yes, they totally baked up fine and held their shape. Weird, because it’s a soft dough. But the filling is so solid, and that might have helped. The end result was hamantaschen that tasted exactly like fig newtons, however, this also means that the filling was pretty firm and the cookie on the soft/cakey side, which I don’t love in hamataschen.

  19. Debby Nelson

    Deb, the recipe sounds great, but I have to tell you the biggest bit of fun is always clicking on what I anticipate to be a shot of your kids. I’m smiling before the photo even loads. Love those children like my own grandchildren. Keep ’em coming.

  20. Thea

    In Australia we don’t have fig newtons, but we have a very similar biscuit made with sultanas/currants/raisins instead of figs. The spicy fruit roll aka pillow biscuits aka squashed fly biscuits (my preferred name for them as a child). I might try making these with sultanas instead!

    1. deb

      Pear sauce, perhaps? If you can’t buy it, it really is easy to make, just cook chunks down in a saucepan with a splash of water and no sugar, then blend.

  21. Janet

    I have had Stella’s book in my Amazon shopping cart for months. You’ve convinced me. But today I guess it’ll be almond horns I make, sadly without sprinkles.

  22. arica i have been wishing and hoping for a homemade fig newton for ages. Everytime i pass them in the store i pick up a package and stare disgustedly at the ingredients before putting it down. Deb you are an angel.

  23. Trish

    You said you could use a whole egg in place of 2 of 3 yolks. Am i missing something? I only see 2 eggs total. Anyway, these look amazing and relatively easy. Cant wait to bake this weekend. Love this blog!

      1. Katie

        The recipe you posted says 1 egg and 1 yolk. In your “notes” and here in the comments, you’ve said 3 yolks. I think that’s the confusion… I think :)

  24. I’m going to have to try these soon — fig newtons have always been a favorite for me (that and pecan sandies) and they look just right! I love that you’ve adhered to the “original” flavor of fig newtons.

  25. Liz A

    Cannot wait to try these. My husband ADORES fig newtons and Garibaldi biscuits. Have you ever made the Garibaldi’s? They are super easy and I would love to see what you would do with them.

    1. deb

      Just Googled them — they look delicious. There are bunch of recipes online but I’m not sure how close they are until I have the original.

  26. Tama

    From your photos, it looks like you were able to avoid moving the dough onto the baking sheet by using the bottom piece of parchment you rolled out the dough?

    If so, that would save some time and headache. Can you please confirm?

    1. deb

      No, I moved them as I describe. Because they’re cut into 4 abutting strips, there isn’t space on it once rolled around the filling, you have to separate it from the next one. Theoretically you could loosen each strip from the bottom parchment on the counter and space them out before filling and rolling them on their parchment but you’d still have to get that sheet (with four rolled logs of dough) over to the baking sheet (although it’s easier to move you slide it onto, and bake it on, the back of the pan). Spreading out the strips on the bottom parchment and then filling and assembling on the baking sheet sounds more logical, but there isn’t enough space on one (a half-sheet is about 12″ across on the narrow side) for all four strips there until they’re filled and rolled into logs. If you’re careful, moving the rolls isn’t impossible, just a touch stressful. Finally, you could always pop the logs in the freezer to firm up for easier lifting, but make sure they’re already pressed into a slightly flattened shape because you won’t be able to do it if they’re firm, of course.

      1. anna

        I just made these for the first time today and they are delish!

        I found a workaround for using the spatula: in your first picture with the filling added to the cookie? I cut the paper right along those cut edges of the dough.

        I did that before I added the fillings, so once the filling was included, I folded the strip over, so the seam of the cookie is on one side. Like closing a book.

        The top edge of the paper can be pulled away, and the cookie tube with its strip of paper can be lifted, on the baking sheet (which already has a piece of parchment paper underneath.

        The strip of paper right underneath the cookie might need to be trimmed to fit everything on the baking sheet, but that can be done with ordinary scissors right on the baking sheet.

  27. Debbie

    I, too, have been collecting recipes and wanting to try making Fig Newtons for years! I tried one a long time ago that was less than satisfying and given the cost of the ingredients I’ve been holding out…we have a fig tree which, when it produces, will be used almost exclusively for making Fig Newtons! And now I have your encouragement and recipe tweaks so I’m sure they will be a big hit! Thanks! I always enjoy your posts, your style and you do sound so much like me a lot of the time!

  28. CL Griffin

    Thanks for your notes on Stella’s recipe–this is next on my list from her book. I have become a better cook because of your wonderful explanations over the years! True story: my daughter (18 yrs. old) took library books while I was out of town. Instead of taking back The Food Lab (Kenji’s WOW book!) she took my Christmas-present Bravetart! When I arrived home and discovered the mistake I was heartbroken–but kudos to the librarian, because she wasn’t sure who it came from but put it aside til it was claimed! Thanks to a March birthday, my copy of Food Lab is next to Iconic American Desserts on my kitchen shelf. Good thing too–I have lots of baking to do as I will be a first-time grandmother next month! I will continue to count on the 3 of you for amazing recipes– I don’t have time to spare for lackluster ones! Thanks for your dedication!

  29. Mary Rogers

    Some happy memories reading this recipe – which I will prepare very soon as a packet of dried figs beckons on the counter top. As a child, it was the pinnacle of sophistication to spend my summer time on the porch with my grandparents by indulging with a few fig newtons while carefully sipping a glass brimming with ginger ale. They knew how to make life grand with simple treats.

  30. oh, that book is gorgeous. Thanks for taking one of the recipes for a test drive!
    Question about ingredients- the ingredient list says “1 large egg yolk” but the directions tell us to “then add the egg and yolks” [plural] and your notes say, “I also found I could use 1 whole egg in place of 2 of the 3 yolks.”
    Can you clarify? thanks!

  31. Lisa

    I have never really liked fruit in cookies or dessert (because I’m weird) but I needed to stop in and say that Stella’s book is just so fabulous. I’ve made 3 cakes, brownies, blondies and cookies already and everything turned out great. The brownies are truly the best brownies I’ve ever had. And the yellow cake is perfect.

  32. Total carb count for these cookies per gram weight…. please? I have to match up insulin so once in a while I indulge… this sounds worth the trouble… if you can give me the carb count
    Thank u!

  33. Cy

    Love this! I’ve been eyeing the Brave tart book too! A friend challenged me to make a homemade version of a lemon hostess hand pie( we loved them as kids, not that my mom ever bought them, I wouldn’t touch one now). Anyway, I made a tri-citrus version with Ranjpur limes, Meyer lemons and Eureka lemons, complete with the glaze on top( I used a pate sucree dough) and they are my favorite hand pies ever. I’m the “pie queen” in my circle. It’s so satisfying to bake a “better than the original ” version of childhood treats. Can’t wait to try these! We always had newtons around the house. My mother considered them a healthier choice for a store bought cookie 😊

  34. Sandy

    You have a minor typo:
    … too sweet or too wholegrain, to muddled with other flavors, …
    I assume the you meant “too muddled”.
    Never mind my nitpicking — this site is wonderful. Thanks for everything, always.

  35. Sandy

    And proof of how easy it is to make a typo, even in a 3 line post:
    …I assume the you meant “too muddled”…
    “the” should be “that”. Sorry!

  36. Rachel M.

    I bought the book because of the oreos and the homemade hostess cupcake recipe. The oreos stopped me in the my tracks but I too feel like I am cheating on your recipe. Thanks for SKifying this recipe, it makes it much more approachable.

  37. miriamglassman

    My heartbeat actually sped up at the sight of this posting. I am a lifelong Fig Newton fan who used to go around saying dorky things like, “you’re just a Fig Newton of my imagination.” While the idea of a homemade FN makes me a tad nervous–why tamper with near-perfection?– I’m convinced that today’s Fig Newtons are smaller and drier than I remember them, so I truly look forward to trying this exciting, new recipe!

  38. Deb,

    Thank you for your commentary on recipes, and reviews of cookbooks. I recently purchased a cookbook, devoted to Madeleines, and some of the recipes use a mixer, some have baking powder added, others don’t, and I wonder how the texture will be different from each method, something I never wondered about before. The cookbook above, looks interesting, but probably too fussy for me.

  39. Stacey Sarnicola

    I had a Costco bag of raisins left over from Christmas baking so used raisins instead of figs. I didn’t have any apple sauce, so I used 1/3 cup of white sugar. The dough was perfect, didn’t even break when I rolled them. After the first log was rolled, I was able to roll the sheets out thinner. So delicious!

  40. meisum

    Mine are in the oven right now – so excited! I found that the transferring process is much easier if you place a smaller strip of parchment next to the roll, then flip the roll onto the new strip and use that as a sling to roll it onto the baking sheet. A lot of parchment was used in the making of these cookies, but it’ll be worth it! Thanks for the recipe!

  41. Jen

    I literally gasped and stopped mid sentence, completely forgetting what I was saying, because I am super excited about the idea of making these. I love fig newtons. Because of an ant problem in my first apartment I always kept them in the fridge and have preferred them slightly chilled ever since. I look forward to trying the recipe!

  42. Apriori

    And, you do it AGAIN. Fig Newtons (packaged variety) are my father’s favorite cookie. He does a lot of physical labor and on long days, will keep a baggie with a few in it, in his pocket for quick energy. I cannot wait to make these (and will comment again once I do)!

  43. Kimmie

    You and I are kindred spirits. I just HAD to try making fig newtons, because, well I did. And ever since, my family will NOT stop asking me to make them. They are sooo much better than the store’s, with a deep, rich mapley, molasses flavor and really, the essence of “more”. Thanks for sharing and letting me know I’m not alone in my quirky craziness! (Wanted to post a pic of mine, but not quite that tech savvy, I guess 😉)

  44. Michelle

    I always wondered what a fig newton was (I’m Australian)! They are very similar to a biscuit that was popular in my home as a child – we called them pillows as the ends were sealed with the pastry not left open as in this recipe.I cannot remember their real name, but I now have a bit of a craving….

  45. Megan

    Thank you Deb, I just finished the last of a batch made on Monday. These are amazing and I used whole wheat pastry flour and they tasted perfectly. I am excited to vary the filling for future batches as my 3 boys loved them as breakfast cookies! Also, I was desperate for some applesauce and the only thing I had on hand was a tube of Trader Joe’s apple/mango applesauce that was exactly 3.5 ounce. No mango detected in the final fig newton! Texture was spot on and amazing. Thank you and we will never need to buy the package stuff again.

  46. I’m a little confused about the egg situation – in your instructions you say add the egg and yolks (plural) but in ingredient list it is just one yolk – ? In your notes you say you used one whole egg and 2 yolks – so am just checking.

    I cannot wait to make these – do you, like me, eat off the cakey sides of the newton first and then the middle last? And if so, will these work that way? Wouldn’t want them to fall apart when I so long for that newton experience in a homemade cookie.

  47. Caterina

    Hi Deb,
    I made these over the weekend – we had an ice storm so timing was perfect! I followed your directions exactly and the Newtons are perfect. Way better than the pre-packaged Mr. Christie variety. To anyone who is reluctant to make these given the multiple steps – just do it! You can make the filling as the dough chills and they will be ready in no time. My yield was about 45 cookies.

  48. Carol

    Wowza! I made these and they came out fantastic! Mine are crazy delicious right out of the oven. I replaced water for juice every place it called for. I used lemon instead of orange zest. and I used 1/4 tsp cinnamon in the dough. You can’t actually taste the cinnamon but I do think it adds a depth of flavor.
    When you fold the parchment over – press down lightly on ends of dough and top of cookie – then parchment peels off easily. And – my kitchen is quite warm today and I didn’t need to put dough in freezer at all while rolling. And it didn’t break when I did the transfer. Just go for it – Thanks again Deb or another great one!

  49. Pam

    Num. I didn’t even wait until they softened, and they were so good. I can’t wait until they soften! The use of applesauce instead of sugar or honey is brilliant.

    For the pastry I used earth balance, 3 egg yolks, and whole wheat pastry flour.

    For the figs, I was not interested in making another trip just to find juicy figs. Instead, I rehydrated figs to make them ‘juicy’, by adding 1/2 cup boiling water to 10 oz of organic dry figs. I let them absorb the water for 24 hours before processing. They were probably ready sooner, but I was not. Get this: at the store where I bought the dried figs, they had little, not-quite 2oz, packets of ‘juicy figs’ (snack size packet) for $2 each. The ingredients were: dried figs and water. Crazy.

    To process the figs, I weighed 12 oz of the rehydrated figs, and used 2 T of cognac instead of orange/apple juice, everything else as directed.

    My first roll was perfect, and despite the freezer trick it went downhill from there. BUT, you can smooth the pastry with a knife or other implement, and I used the extra dough to patch up the holes I couldn’t fix by smoothing. And the pastry puffs and makes those patches go away. It’s a miracle.

    I was able to get a 15×15 square. 4 strips x 3.25 inches = 13 inches. After patching, I still had extra dough so made ravioli-like cookies with raspberry jam filling. Tasty, but the filling was too thin inside; ok for a couple cookies but not for a whole batch of cookies.

  50. spoonfulofeasy

    These look amazing! I read Bravetart and these have been on my list! Glad they turned out as amazing as they looked in the book. Another thing the older generations are onto: the plastic rain bonnet. I’ve never seen anyone over 60 arrive anywhere without perfect looking hair. I will stan with you (is that right?!) on thick cardigans and rain bonnets!

  51. Jenny

    Your timing is impeccable–my boyfriend who loves fig newtons, but not birthday cake, had a birthday shortly after your post. Birthday fig newtons were a hit. Thank you!

  52. These look super yummy too!! I am going to add these to my little one’s lunch box, pack it up in his diaper bag and watch him dig them out.. He loves the treats!

    Thank you for ideas!

  53. Mary Beth Feldman

    I followed Bravetart exactly (since I had the book) and got a nice cookie without much trouble, although they struck me as a tad dry, even though I steamed them, as she advises. The cinnamon and orange in the original probably add complexity, but you don’t really taste them. That said, I used to make fig “newtons” from a recipe in Marian Cunningham’s Fanny Farmer Baking Book. Mine is so old it’s falling apart, so I’m wondering if it’s even in print any more? (If it isn’t, grab a used copy if you can; it’s an excellent book, like all of her work.) There are differences in ingredients, and I think hers are better. Maybe it’s because her filling, which is cooked, is brightened with lemon.

  54. Sarahb1313

    Ok, made these yesterday. They are perfect. I only had some little applesauce containers with cinnamon, not really what I wanted, but it did not affect the flavor at all.
    They are perfect and well, exactly right. And better than the box (I mean of course) as there is no chemical taste or aftertaste. I did happen to pass Trader Joe’s and get those figs too, which just made it easier, but I will say that they weren’t as sticky (must not be that popular at that store) and would have preferred fresher dried figs (yes, oxymoron). Despite all of that, they still came out perfect.
    I did have leftover fig, so I went and put a little more into each strip, which while the finished product was definitely better for it, made the assembly a bit dicey, but a brief freezer stint did help.
    Made both those AND the Oreos yesterday (because you know what kids like) and it was a hit!

  55. Steph

    I made these for my book club last week and they turned out beautifully and were much easier to fill and roll than I expected!

  56. Meg

    A little fussy, a little messy, but delicious and totally addictive. I had to step in and pack them up, so we can enjoy them tomorrow in their proper state. We used a dried cherry apricot blend for the filling and the kids loved it. I plan on using this recipe any time I have dried fruit that needs using up.

  57. luakabop

    Just made these today, so they haven’t softened, but they aren’t overly dry on day one- they’re delicious! I had dried Calimyrna figs from Costco, and they worked great. Also used light spelt flour, Nina’s Aquafaba Butter, and zest/juice from mandarin oranges, which I hadn’t tried using in baking before, and the flavour seems great. I got exactly 65 cookies out of the recipe, and found the dough pretty flexible, nonstick even when softened on a hot day, and easy to get to 15″x15″ (helped that my parchment is 15″ thick.) I assumed the recipe meant to say 3.75″ strips rather than 3.25″, to make 4 equal strips from a 15″ width. Also used a tip from the comments about slinging each long roll onto an additional piece of parchment to transfer to the cookie sheet- this was essential! Thanks for another delicious recipe! :-)

  58. Ramona

    Oh my goodness! This is fantastic! I’ve been looking for a fig newton recipe and this will be great to make. Thank you so much!

  59. Homemade Fig Newtons? This is very, very exciting. I am an American living abroad and these were my favorite cookies growing up. Seeing the recipe makes me feel like I’ve been reunited with an old friend : ) These look amazing and not too, too complicated. I will be trying to make them with my daughter this weekend. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    1. Ohiogirl

      Yes! Just saw this and I was just going to post and beg about this!

      In Los Angeles there is a wonderful Cuban bakery called Porto’s Bakery and they do an incredible fig newton type cookie – but filled with guava paste. They call it a masareal. Is that your cookie as well?

      And Deb, maybe in your spare time (aka none) could you give us tweaks/tips for this? Again, in your HEAPS of spare time ; )

  60. Lynda C Williams

    Just made this, substituted filling with alternative recipe that I really enjoyed, fabulous straight out of the oven so cannot wait to allow to cool and “sweat “.

  61. Hi Deb! I’ve made these five times now this summer — much opportunity for practice. I wanted to pass on a simple assembly tip that has worked very well for me: after rolling the dough and scoring it into strips in all the right places, I grab a pair of scissors and cut the underlying parchment as well. That makes both assembling and transporting each roll an absolute snap. Each strip of dough now has its own individual backing, so I can roll the dough up around the filling and then peel the parchment back. After that, I easily move the assembled roll — still cradled in the strip of parchment — into place on the baking sheet. Saves time and fuss.

  62. Anna

    Hi Deb!
    Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes! I have a question about these fig newtons- do you think the dough would work with “flax eggs” instead of eggs? Or do you have any recommendations on what to swap for the eggs?
    Thank you!!

  63. Anna

    These cookies are incredible!! I decided to try the dough with two “flax eggs” instead of egg eggs and it worked totally fine! I didn’t have any apple or orange juice so I just used a fresh cara cara orange & squeezed a tablespoon by hand for the dough. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the dough. In the filling I used only one tablespoon of cara cara orange juice and one of water and I used lemon zest instead of orange. I will be making these cookies again and again! SO good!

  64. tessajmccall

    Oh these are good. We live abroad and don’t have access to packaged fig newtons! I totally made a mess of the rolling part but they look homemade and taste so familiar!

  65. itsjoan42

    Re the tin off and on bit…what if one lined the tin with some paper napkins….or even a round of cheesecloth to absorb moisture…yet retain it in tin? I plan on making these cookies….if they’re not eaten right away, I’ll post back.

  66. Patti

    Oh these turned out beautifully! My only switch was to just roll out the dough on the counter using a little flour. When I tried to roll out between parchment sheets, the dough stuck terribly. I tried the freezer trick and it didn’t seem to help. So I just rolled out the dough like I would a pie crust and it rolled out beautifully. I don’t think the extra flour harmed the outcome at all.

    So yummy! Thank you!!

    1. Lisa Feldstein

      Ruth M., I would also suggest using white whole wheat flour, instead of the red (“regular”) WW. I find it works better when subbing WW in for AP.

  67. Claire

    I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong with the roll-between parchment method. This is the second recipe for which I’ve tried doing this and even though I stuck the sticking dough in the freezer several times, it still sticks terribly! It was very difficult to roll the dough over the filling and lift them off onto the baking sheet. Any other tips or tricks for that technique??

  68. Ann

    Deb, how on earth did you know I’d looked for a Fig Newtons recipe just the day before it came in your newsletter? Spooky. I will be singing the Fig Newton jingle when I’m eating these cookies in about an hour and I may even do the “tricky part” although I will not be dressed as a giant fig.

  69. eclecticdeb

    I’ve made a version of these, with some added rosemary and sea salt on the top for a more “adult” taste. Incredibly delicious!

  70. honey.badger

    “You might find you need to do a little lid on and lid off time”

    I’m laughing at this, picturing myself taking the lid on and off as I have “just one more” countless times in a row.

  71. Carrie

    Hi Deb- Do you think there’s any way to make these with fig jam? Cook it down to make it thicker etc? I have an abundance of figs on my tree and made jam, but I’m also desperate for a homemade Newton. Thank you!

  72. Lisa_S

    These taste so good but wow the dough was so sticky. I left it in the fridge for hours but still it was a near catastrophe. What could I have done wrong? I tried both parchment paper and waxed paper.

  73. Ra

    Made these today as fig hamantaschen and they were fabulous! I wasn’t sure how thin to roll them but slightly thicker for hamantashen made it a bit easier to glue them together. The last batch I made was the thinnest and they also got crispy on the corners, which was yummy. Very fig newton-y indeed and best non-cream cheese hamantaschen dough I have tasted. Smitten kitchen, your recipes never disappoint! Thanks Deb!

  74. Christy Butler

    I made these because my neighbor has a fig tree and gave me a bag full of ripe figs. I skipped the apple sauce in the filling because I didn’t need extra moisture, simmered and stirred until they were jammy (15-20min), then added the orange juice/zest plus 1T sugar, a pinch of cinnamon (because that’s what’s in homemade applesauce) plus 2T of apricot compote (because after cooking the figs down, I was a bit short on filling, expecting 15oz total, and I had leftover compote in the fridge from making SK Seven Layer Cookies last week, which were also beautiful and delicious). After processing the figs, I returned them to the pan to simmer for an additional 5-10 min to thicken more. I ended up with about 12oz of filling, 15-16oz would fill the cookies better, but 12oz was fine.

    SK recipes do not disappoint.

  75. AliceK

    This looks delish. Will need to trek to Trader Joe’s for the figs. I haven’t bought Fig Newtons for years, although our family loves them. Here’s why.
    Many years ago, we had a Great Dane, you know, for practice before having children. I don’t know if all Great Danes have a thing for baked goods, but this one did. I had bought a 2 lb package of Fig Newtons and foolishly left it on the kitchen counter. If you can reach it, a Great Dane can reach it. She gobbled all 2 pounds of cookies while I was at work. If you were unaware, there is a lot of fiber in Fig Newtons. Katie-Dog has been gone for 20 years, but I remember cleaning up the “fiber” that came out of that dog after the cookies went in. Probably safe to make these now!