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Fig Newtons

gluten-free vegan fig newtons

Fig newtons seem to be everybody’s childhood favorite. Especially my husband’s. I made a batch of homemade, gluten free fig newtons this weekend and he ate the cookies so quickly that I had to hide some for friends.

What makes these little fig newtons so special? Well, I’m told they taste like the real thing. And besides, unlike the original, they have no white flour, white sugar or artificial flavors. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and naturally sweetened, making them a perfect treat for just about anyone –including those on the GFCF diet.

Lately, a number of parents have been in touch with me about the GFCF diet. Through these correspondences I have been introduced to TACA, as well as Jenny McCarthy’s memoir about her son, Louder Than Words, in which she discusses her journey to heal her son’s autism.

I am glad to have encountered this strongly networked group of parents and to provide GFCF recipes such as the one below that offer fun food for the whole family.

Fig Newtons

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Filling:

Dough:

  1. Place figs in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds until they are well chopped
  2. Add lemon juice and vanilla; process until a smooth paste results
  3. In a large bowl, combine almond flour and salt
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine agave, yacon, grapeseed oil and vanilla
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry, then refrigerate dough for 1 hour
  6. Divide chilled dough into 4 parts
  7. Between 2 pieces of parchment paper, roll out 1 part of the dough into a 10 x 4 inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick
  8. Spread ¼ of the filling evenly down the right side (lengthwise) of the rectangle
  9. Fold the dough in half down the long side –resulting in a 10 x 2 inch bar
  10. “Mend” the seam so the bar is symmetrical
  11. Repeat with 3 remaining parts of dough and filling
  12. Transfer each bar to a parchment paper lined baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes
  13. Allow to cool slightly; cut bar every 2 inches to form the fig newtons
  14. Serve

Makes 20 cookies


posted on January 23, 2008

  1. Hi Elana,

    I love your site and check it often for updates. These newtons look fantastic and I’ll be making up a batch this weekend. I’ve been involved with TACA for several years now – thanks for the mention. They are a wonderful group of people that truly care about the future for our kids… and society in general as a result.

    Keep up the great posts!

    J

  2. Hey Jason, glad that you like the site and thanks for stopping by. Let me know how the fig newtons turn out.

    TACA is an amazing organization isn’t it?

    Elana

  3. Diane

    Hi Elana,
    I wasn’t familiar with yacon so hit the link in your recipe and the ingredients listed are as follows:
    “Extracted in distilled water and 40% organic grain alcohol”.
    Does this mean it contains grain alcohol? Can celiacs ingest this?
    Also, can you recommend a substitute (agave nectar?) if I can’t source it in Canada?
    Thanks!

  4. Diane,

    Thank you for your comment and for pointing out this mistake regarding the yacon syrup. I have changed the link on this post so that it connects to a pure yacon syrup that you can easily purchase online from iherb.com; I think they will mail order to Canada.

    Thanks for stopping by and thanks again for your astute comment regarding the yacon error.

    Elana

  5. ~M

    Hi Elana,

    This post – as well as your gingerbread post and faq – explain what yacon is. I had never heard of it before, but became aware through your blog and then spotted it at the grocery store. My question is, when do you use yacon as opposed to agave? Thanks!

  6. ~M,

    I use yacon and agave together in my recipes. Yacon has a rich dark flavor that mimics molasses and I use it in place of this ingredient.

    Hope this helps to answer your question.

    Elana

  7. Hey what a cool site. I have bookmarked you and will definitely be trying these.

  8. Joy,

    Thanks! Let me know how you like them.

    Elana

  9. Yes, this is definitely something I just have to try.
    .
    I have all the Ingredients, believe it or not!
    .
    Just wondering, if you rolled the pastry around the fig mixture (like a Swiss/Jelly Roll),
    then when it’s baked slice in 1 inch slices, warm in the micro serve with Whipped Dairy Cream and Wine Apple seeds (Pomegranate).
    .
    Hmmmm! interesting thought.

  10. David,

    Interesting thought indeed! If you do that please let us know how it goes.

    Thanks,
    Elana

  11. mama

    OMG! Elana,
    These look scrumptious! You’ve nailed the amount of cakey yumminess to figgy sweetness ratio right on.

    Other GF recipes for this tempting childhood treat have left me dissapointed with their too thick, dry cake that doesn’t cut it.
    Even the shape of the other newtons has been disappointing.

    You have done it again. I cannot wait to make these…OMG!!! :-)

    Love & Light,

    Tee

  12. Linda

    These look so good! I think you may have saved my sanity with your almond flour recipes.

    My hubby just decided to go gluten free to help some of his symptoms and I was despairing of all the starch in many of the recipes… even the more creative ones.

    BTW, I did look at your license – so, it’s ok to share your recipes-free, of course? like from a bulk food store? or to sell product made with your recipes and include where I got the recipe?

    Thanks so much!
    Linda

    • Linda, that is such a sweet comment, I really appreciate it! I know, the starch is a bummer in so many gluten free recipes. Yes, it is ok to share the recipes along with giving the appropriate credit back to me and my website. Thanks so much for your comment and for stopping by!

      • Linda

        Well, I made the fig newtons and hubby liked them, he says they’re the first gluten free treat he’s had that is moist.

        Only problem is I used honey and molasses and it was all very sticky and almost impossible to work with except I was using parchment paper – phew! It’s just that agave syrup is prohibitively expensive for use and I haven’t found yacon syrup yet. I had even added 1/3 cup of almond flour, but still too sticky.

        Since he loves them, I will try again, with less honey.

        Linda

  13. Katrina (gluten free gidget) @ glutenfreegidget.blogspot.com

    I just tried this recipe and had some difficulties getting it to work the way you did. It still tasted delicious though. Check out my blog to see my “creative” version! :-)

    • Hi Katrina, thanks for your comment. I went to your lovely site and looked at the Fig Newtons. From what I could tell it was either a course almond flour (such as Bob’s) or maybe just not quite enough almond flour in the mixture (I scoop my almond flour out of a glass jar which packs it down a bit and really need to convey this better to readers). Either way, it looks like you had some tasty success in the end. Thanks again for stopping by and sharing!

  14. Mara Miles

    Hi, I ordered almond flour so I could try your fig newton recipe. While I was on the Honeyville site, I saw they also sold dehydrated egg whites, so I ordered these as well. When they came I read the label and was very disappointed to find that the egg whites are processed on equipment that also processes products containing soy, wheat,egg, peanut and tree nuts. So there is a risk of cross contamination. I will have to send the egg whites back. Can you recommend a source for gluten free egg whites?

    Thanks,
    Mara

  15. Hello Elena,

    Wow you are so clever, my son loves your simple bread that I make a little different as he has a problem with agave syrup and we cant get the other, therfore as fig is our all time fave, can i change this recipe to honey as well and if so what are the quantaties? also we have a fig tree and would love to use the fresh ones is this possible in the recipe?? or do they need to be firm?

    thanks again for your lovely site and great recipes

    Michelle

  16. Liana

    Hello!
    I’ve just found your site and am hooked!

    Just wondering if you could directly sub molasses for the yacon syrup?

    Thanks!

  17. Olinda Paul

    Can you use fresh figs? And what ratio? I have beautiful fresh figs from a friend and I need to use them soon. I love fig newtons and I miss them and want to make some.

    Also, can I blanch my own almonds and use the food processor to make blanched almond flour? Is it possible?

  18. thea

    you could put ANYTHING in the middle of these, nut butter and apple butter, something gingery with honey, or chai and coconut!!!

  19. Jamie

    Hi Elana,
    I found your site a few weeks ago and have been trying your recipes non-stop since. I made these Fig Newtons tonight and they are awesome. I also ordered your cookbook this weekend and am really looking forward to receiving it. I have two little boys and, thankfully, none of us have any food sensitivities. I just like to incorporate a variety of different things into our diets. Who says we HAVE to eat gluten all of the time just because we’re not allegic to it? That’s what I keep telling my husband, anyways, who has been very patient with me and my quest for the perfect diet. Your recipes have helped make a compelling argument, so thanks for that! Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Andi

    Can you use any thing else for the filing???

  21. Hi Elana,

    I found your site while researching for some gluten free recipes to make my dad who has arthritis of the spine and has felt some significant improvement since going grain free.

    His all time favorite snack is fig newtons so I am happy to have found this recipe but I am just wondering if honey could replace the agave nectar yacon syrup so I don’t have to run around buying all different ingredients. Also, your breads look amazing but I noticed you do not use yeast so I am wondering how it would rise?

  22. harmony

    I just made these today with 1/2 cup maple syrup plus 2 tablespoons of honey. They turned out great. I probably could have cooked them a few minutes longer. I want to eat them all right now but, am forcing myself to save some for tomorrow.

  23. illnworth

    can you use fresh figs in this?

  24. Made these for the first time today with the recipe from your book. AMAZING! Both my husband and my 17 month old gobbled them up. Fairly easy to make as well.

  25. April

    One of my 7th grade students has celiacs and loves fig newtons! A local store started carrying gluten free newtons but stopped. My student barely eats anything and he was so disappointed, so our class tried your recipe together. Elana you made my day with the smile on his face while he ate his newtons this afternoon, thank you so much! I made a few substitutions to make it a little cheaper and used vegetable oil (in place of grapeseed) and corn syrup (in place of yacon), sorry! The agave had a great flavor and I’m glad we used it in the filling. The lemon was a little strong, so I added some dates (we didn’t have extra figs) and a little sweetener and it was perfect! I look forward to making these again very soon! These were delicious and better than anything you’ll find in the store! Thanks again!!

  26. Shanah

    Haha this Recipe made me Laugh and smile. I think you are so very clever and read up on you daily. I have a hate for fig newtons from my childhood. My family used to run a food bank in washington state when i lived in the USA. It was around the time of desert storm. The food bank had been donated millions of boxes of fig newtons that I had to pack into smaller lots. The smell of them to this day makes me feel Sick. That and peanut m&ms they gave them to the food bank because they had packed with soap. The m&ms also tasted like soap!

    Thanks at least despite my hate for fig newtons you made me smile!
    Your fan,
    Shanah michele

  27. Annie

    I tried making these with fresh figs, and it worked out pretty well. I had to puree and then simmer the figs in the lemon juice for a couple of hours first. This recipe also ended up yeilding for me a lot of leftover filling, and it was rather lemony for our tastes, since we like pure fig flavor.

    Overall though, everyone liked it alot. I wish I had tripled the recipe instead of just doubling it. Thank you, Elana.

  28. Kimberly

    This looks so great and I can’t wait to try it! Any ideas on substitutes for lemon juice?
    I’m allergic to lemons and I’m wondering if the juice here is used for flavor or for thickening (or both?) I may try lime or orange juice (freshly-squeezed–of course).

    Thoughts?

  29. Susan Geraldi

    I have been gluten-free, dairy-free for over 3 years. Before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease/developed Lactose Intollerance, Fig Newtons were my all time favorite snack. After watching my kids consume these heavenly cookies day-after-day- I decided to take matters into my own hands. So, I found, and used your recipe.

    Sadly, I was very dissapointed after searching everywhere for the ingredients and spending over 2 hours in the kitchenking making a double batch of these.

    The fig center is much too strong and it overwhelms the cookie. Also, it tastes better if the dough is thicker! The almond flour is tne; but I think I may try it with a gf allpurpose flour instead.

  30. Valerie

    I was so excited to try this recipe. The dough was impossible to work with and stuck to the parchment irreparably. I had to painstakingly roll balls of dough in my hand and stuff them with fig paste which had far too much lemon juice. The doughy-fig balls flattened into flying saucers in the oven, (the fig paste remained ball like and the dough melted out around it). I used 2 tsp of vanilla in both the fig paste and the dough, a TABLESPOON of Vanilla seemed like way too much. They taste similar to wholegrain newtons, hearty and healthy, but oily and doughy. :( I chilled the dough for an hour like directed, i don’t know why it was so impossible to work with.

  31. Ema

    Just a note the Yacon Syrup you link to has been discontined.

  32. Linda J @ none

    Hello Elana,

    For the fig newtons/bars, is it possible to substitute brown rice flour or soy flour for the blanched almond flour?
    Thank you,
    Linda

  33. Shelley

    Any suggestions for a family that can’t use wheat or almond flour?

  34. Catherine @ None

    I have been waiting to make these as I couldn’t find all the ingredients so I finally checked online for substitutions. I first used -:
    Arrowhead Mills All purpose baking mix instead of the almond flour.
    The fake lemon juice that you can buy in a plastic container that looks like a lemon.
    Honey instead of the agave nectar.
    Brown sugar instead of the yacon syrup.

    Anyway,I know you dont answer questions on substitutions, so I wont ask.

    My dough is in the fridge at this time chilling for an hour, therefore my question is about the dough. My dough is very dry and seems more crumbly than a dough that can be rolled out. Do you know if there is anything I can / should add to make it more rollable? I have been looking forward so long to have a fig newton which was a favorite of mine, before being diagnosed with Celiac nearly 18 years ago.
    Having tried your date bars which were excellant, I tried them again using the figs instead of the dates. They were a disaster as you can imagine.LOL. Anyway, do you know what I can add to my crumblly dough. Thanyou for your time & I will let you know how they turn out if at all?
    Living in a town of approximately 200-300 residents, the stores near me are not very big and therefore dont carry many GF products. I buy most of my GF products online. Well, thanks again, I anxiousely await your answer, Cathy.

  35. Teresa

    Best fig newton I have ever eaten, and I LOVE fig newtons! I used mostly coconut palm syrup in place of Yacon & Agave, and a little cassava (tapioca) syrup. The lemon in the filling was very strong, so I ended up doubling the recipe (except for the lemon), and then added a few extra figs as well. I like more of a true fig flavor, so the next time I make this I will add 1 T of lemon juice at a time and taste. I think 2 T would be enough so that you still taste mostly fig. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that I can have fig newtons again. This recipe takes a little work, but when these came out of the oven, I decided that it is so worth it! So glad I got to double the recipe because these will not last in this house. Thank You, Elana, for bringing fig newtons back into my life! I love all of your recipes!

  36. Karen

    Just made these and they are amazing!! Thank you, Elana so much. I did use molasses instead of yacon syrup, because I’m not sure if I’m allergic to it. And I used orange juice instead of lemon juice, and coconut oil I stead of grapeseed oil, because of allergies.

  37. Rosita

    Elana I made these for myself and my brother who is wheat intolerant. They came out perfect, I did not cut any corners, they are addictive. I never cut corners when using your recipes I think it would be an insult to you and all of your hard work and expertise. Thank God for you Elana.

  38. Britt in Tx

    My mom loves fig Newton’s so this is a great and healthy snack that I can make for her:* thanks alot

  39. Karis

    I used 6 T honey and 2 T molasses (cutting the sweetners by 1/4 c) in place of agave (an evil high fructose product) and yacon (prohibitively expensive). I also used apricots instead of figs because it’s what I had, and cut the lemon juice to about 1-2 T, using water for the remaining liquid (I didn’t need the whole 1/2 c). The bars are really good but quite greasy. I think that I will either reduce the oil next time or replace it with applesauce because almond flour seems to have a very healthy amount of its own oil.

  40. Samantha

    Thought you’d like to know your image is being used in an etsy shop:

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/150036171/fig-newtons-home-made-gluten-free-sugar?ref=shop_home_active

    Not sure if you gave permission for it or not, but just in case.

  41. Lisa

    I tried these but substituted coconut oil for yacon oil. I thought they tasted too lemony. I think I’m going to try them with little lemon juice because they seemed good except for the strong lemon flavor.

  42. Caroline

    I tried these and they were really excellent. Because I don’t use agave and didn’t have the syrup I substituted real maple syrup and a few tablespoons coconut sweetener. My Trader Joes almond flour was probably too course a grind so the dough came out far too wet to roll out. I added some rice flour I had to absorb moisture and stiffen the dough. It did the trick still rather then mess with rolling the dough I wet my hands and patted out a 3 inch by 10 inch piece of base.

    Out of parchment paper as well so I used an oiled cookie sheet with no problems. The filling, because I only had 1/2 a lemon I diluted it with water and added about 1/2 a cup of blueberries to the figs to have a blueberry fig newton.

    I took this mixture and spooned it over the base, then patted some dough on top of it. I repeated this a couple of times and because my cookie layers were thicker than those pictured I cooked them longer until the top of the cookie bar appeared as browned as the bottom. I cut them in slices.

    I discovered these improve in flavor a great deal by the next day. I realized as well that I never really cared for fig Newton’s. I fixed them for a family member only to find out these are so much better than the standard dry, boring fig newton that they are my new favorite. The only thing I would do differently is not put quite so much vanilla in the dough, the blueberry fig is so lovely that much vanilla detracts a bit.

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