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Gluten-free Fig Newton Bars

Since I have been on a

“recreating-everything-I-once-ate-as-a-kid” kick,

I thoughtΒ I’d take V-gan Jar’s inspiration, put myself to work in the kitchen,

and see if I could actually make a believable gluten-free and vegan Fig Newton.

(((Thank you, Fizzy Izzy πŸ™‚ )))

I even had a jar of homemade fig jam that needed a new home.

What better place than between 2 pillows of light and airy cookie dough???

Homemade Fig Newton Bars Recipe

Gluten-free, vegan

Makes 15 bars

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose, gluten-free flour mix (see what I use here), plus 2 Tbs more
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 4 Tbs Earth Balance, softened
  • 4 tsp flaxseed meal + 3 Tbs water, mixed and set for 5 minutes
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 15 tsps of jam of choice (I used apple fig)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together with electric mixer. Add the flax egg and mix. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add slowly to the wet mixture. If you need more flour, add a tablespoon at a time. You want to make sure the dough is not sticky while not dried out.
  4. Lay 1 piece of lightly flour dusted parchment paper on the counter. Using 1/4 of the dough, knead it until it is smooth. Place another piece of wax paper of it and roll out to an approx 14″x6″ rectangle, about 1/4″ thick. Cut into 3″x2″-ish squares.
  5. Place 1 tsp of jam of your choice in the middle of 1 dough square. Place another square on top of the other. Fold the seams of the 2 longer sides together to make sure it sticks together. Gentle does it–the dough is fragile without gluten so proceed with care.
  6. Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet (or Silpat). Bake 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

These fig bars are that good.

It took a couple of attempts but I finally hit the jackpot!

It’sΒ unbelievable to me how much easier it is becoming to recreate

my favorite gluten-filled foods.

If you would have asked me back in August

whether I ever thought I would get the hang of GF/vegan baking,

I would have chuckedΒ the homemadeΒ dense piece of food

I thought was supposed to be bread right at you.

If anything, let these Newton bars

be of witness to you that if you are still struggling with baking,

stick with it.

Keep trying and making mistakes.

I cannot even begin to tell you how fulfilling

the rewards are with gluten-free and vegan baking once you get the hang of it.

And even then, you will still make mistakes.

But at least you have 15 fig bars to munch on while you do…

66 Comments Post a comment
  1. I am so jealous that you had homemade fig jam!

    Fresh Figs are one of those things that just don’t come too New England often – for the record your Fig Newtons look waaay better than any store bought version πŸ™‚

    January 5, 2012
    • Oh, you know how to make a girl blush πŸ™‚
      It pays to be with a guy who workouts every day at the gym and befriends other gym go-ers, who during Christmas time, lavish him with fun treats. The jam was one of them! xo

      January 5, 2012
  2. Lou #

    YUM…. never tried a Fig Newton, but I can imagine they would be pretty yum… your version looks divine, I love anything to do with figs. Love Vgan Jar too, her pictures are always amazing πŸ™‚

    January 5, 2012
    • Isn’t Isobelle fabulous! Love her and her pictures.
      Lou, that’s right, you are not from the States so you would never have had these, huh? It’s like a dense cake with a thick fig paste inside. They are very popular over here but now you have no excuse to *not* try them πŸ™‚ hehe. xo

      January 5, 2012
  3. Oooooh I love figs. Need to make. FYI, like Genevieve I Liebstered you! http://ksvegrecipes.blogspot.com/2012/01/liebster-love.html

    January 4, 2012
    • Figs are God’s fruit, aren’t they???
      I’ve been Liebsterfied! πŸ™‚ hehe. THANK YOU, seriously! I cannot express how much this means to me. Going over there right now…

      January 5, 2012
  4. Laurel #

    Here’s an idea for figgy filling:

    1 pound dried figs
    1 orange, zested
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or not)
    1/4 cup rum
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 cup maple sugar

    January 4, 2012
    • Mmmmmmm, I can smell this simmering already! Did you use chocolate chips for yours?

      January 5, 2012
      • Laurel #

        I’m incapable of following directions, even my own. I get immersed in something and start thinking “oh, but wouldn’t that be better with this other ingredient, and this or that flavor instead.” I’m totally hopeless. Well fed, but hopeless. It’s really funny when someone asks you for a recipe and you’re all um “WHAT did I DO last time?” πŸ™‚ So, no chocolate I want more fig flavor for newtons.

        January 5, 2012
        • The sign of a true chef πŸ™‚ I’m shipping you out here to go to town in my kitchen…

          January 5, 2012
          • Laurel #

            OK so I’m a big fat liar. I used candied walnuts (yum) – must make those again, so I skipped the sugar. I also added in a couple of shakes of cloves and decided after the 1st taste test that yeah, chocolate chips. In it’s bare bones this is almost a traditional European pastry filling except for the half dozen changes I made. πŸ™‚ But boy is it good! I’m not sure it’s actually going to get into those cookies after all. xox

            January 5, 2012
  5. Even though I’ve never particularly liked the storebought kind, I’ve still been wanting to make homemade Fig Newtons for a while…yours look so good! I like that you can make them with jam without needing actual figs! By the way, I included you in my nominations for the Liebster Award that’s being passed around: http://www.vanilla-and-spice.com/2012/01/new-years-eve-asian-feast-liebster.html

    January 4, 2012
    • The jam option is for the lazy, like myself πŸ™‚ Sounded like too much work for an already much work needed cookie, you know? And thank you for the award, Genevieve! You are super sweet for that–that means so much to me, really. xoxox

      January 4, 2012
      • haha, that’s true…It usually takes me ages to finish off a jar of jam anyway, so this would be a good way to use it up! ps. you deserve it!

        January 5, 2012
  6. Nel #

    I love Newton Fig Bars. I think I’ll make a batch (or two). Thanks for sharing this recipe, Cara. πŸ™‚

    January 4, 2012
    • Or 8 πŸ™‚ You got it, Nel! You can use it as energy fuel for your workouts!

      January 4, 2012
  7. Your biggest fan! #

    Way to stick with it! If the *Fig Newton* was actually named after a town in Massachusetts then you could name yours after a state *Fig Calis* (pronounced Calees) or there’s *Figgy Bites* or *Cara’s Delightful Fig Tea Cakes* (my personal favorite!). Whatever you call them, they look absolutely yummy!
    XOXOXO

    January 3, 2012
    • I’m actually really loving the “Cara’s Delightful Fig Tea Cakes”! Leave it to my mother to come up with something adorable like that πŸ™‚ xo P.S. I just realized that I forgot to call you… oops!

      January 3, 2012
  8. the next batch of any jam or chutney goes into a newton bar! ok seriously.. i need like some daily energy boost drinks or something to try and cook or bake so many things on my list!.:)
    i just ordered some sorghum flour.. i thought i had it.. but its millet. mom had put a hindi name sticker on it and i was thinking bajra is sorghum, but Jowar is sorghum. i need to rewrite the labels.
    my kitchen jars and labels always gets messed up whenever mom or mo in law visit. they both write the names in hindi and i write them in english.. its crazy, coz some days when hubbs is cooking and i ask him to put some spice or something, and he end up saying.. its not here.. then i go and look and its right there.. the problem, the name is in hindi! ordering some starches too..till then i am eating some chickpea crackers..

    January 3, 2012
    • I want my spices to be labeled in Hindi now. You are making jealous of the fact that I am incompetent in any other language aside from English (and even my English is debatable in terms of competency…) I think chutney would be marvelous in these bars, Richa!

      January 3, 2012
      • naah.. i should be ashamed of my hindi. my first language is now hinglish.. hindi with english words making up atleast a third of the sentence…:) just made another gf loaf. and it has a dome like normal bread! only a bit crumbly on the edges while slicing.. guess that is to be expected with no gluten…

        January 3, 2012
        • You have my attention 100%! Are you going to post it tomorrow???? Eeeeeeeee!!!

          January 3, 2012
  9. I’m on Day 6. One more day to go and then I’ve got things to do in the kitchen!!!!! I can’t wait to try these. And persimmon cookies. And wheat thins.

    January 3, 2012
    • How are you feeling? Hopefully much better than last month πŸ™‚

      January 3, 2012
      • Much better. Sincerely. Got me a little pep in ma step again.

        January 3, 2012
        • Excellent! That is exactly what we like to hear (and by “we” I mean me) πŸ™‚ ha

          January 3, 2012
          • …and done! You mind if I post to my page? I altered the recipes a wee bit since I didn’t go GF but wanted to check in first.

            January 5, 2012
  10. It ends up that I was hearing the commercials wrong all of those years! It’s fruit and cake. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEmctE8u2io

    January 3, 2012
    • Noooooooooo, I want to go back to the good ol’ days when it was “fruited cake”!!!

      January 3, 2012
  11. I think according to the commercial from the eighties, we’re supposed to call these “fruited cake.” They look very tasty! I was hoping we’d get to find out your big news today, but it looks like you’re still holding out on us!

    January 3, 2012
    • I didn’t know cakes could be “fruited”–what a delightful find! πŸ™‚ And I’m glad you remembered about the announcement… Keep waiting. hehe

      January 3, 2012
  12. Great job! And great idea! Do you think I could fit all 15 in my mouth at once a la Brian Regan? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qa-B7Sg_i4

    January 3, 2012
    • I so double dog dare you!

      January 3, 2012
  13. The kiddo has been asking me to tackle fig newtons forever. And, I’ve yet to do it. Yours look fabulous! The kiddo will be pleased. πŸ™‚

    January 3, 2012
    • I aim to please the kids, Deanna. It’s my duty πŸ™‚

      January 3, 2012
  14. These look amazing. Nom Nom Newtons. Me want now!

    January 3, 2012
    • I’m having a Figgy party over at my house. Bring a napkin πŸ™‚

      January 3, 2012
  15. I LOVE fig newtons! It must be the texture of figs that entice me so much in general – and these look like the real thing —- but better!!!! πŸ™‚ I wish I was eating these right now for breakfast!

    January 3, 2012
    • You can if you come over. I just made some coffee and I still have a few squares left with your name on it πŸ™‚

      January 3, 2012
  16. Laurel #

    And here I sit with an entire bag of organic dried figs in my refrigerator waiting for Christmas to be over. I could have made Figgy Pudding but seriously? I love Fig Newtons so much I’ve even had a bag or two of those nasty whole wheat ones long time gone. Now though, after the crackers and jam there will be cookies. Do I look fat?

    January 3, 2012
    • Never! You are as skinny as they come, silly πŸ™‚ Wait a minute, did you hear that? Your figs are talking to you through the fridge, begging you to make them into newton bars…

      January 3, 2012
      • Laurel #

        Ooh. Crackers and FIG jam with Newtons for dessert! I’m nothing if not healthy. πŸ™‚

        January 3, 2012
        • Greg was saying the same thing too–he wanted me to create a cracker and fig sandwich for him. ha.

          January 3, 2012
          • Laurel #

            My honey is even now at the Grocer’s buying 2 oranges so I can soak my fruits and make figgy/orangy centers for C O O K I E S. Plus, I just put your flour mix up on my fridge so I can mix it up tomorrow. It sounds pretty darn good. I’m looking forward to cookie topped crackers.

            January 3, 2012
            • Do you mean to tell me that I got the right combo that is on Laurel’s “Can Eat” list??? Hot dog! FINALLY! πŸ™‚ And soak your fruits? This is a new technique that I need to hear more about…

              January 3, 2012
            • Laurel #

              Yeah. You know. Like when you soak raisins in rum or hot water before you bake them so they reconstitute and don’t burn when you bake them? I’ve got a bag of dried figs so I’m going to do that with orange juice and then whir them up in the food processor before baking. Oh. Yes. You did, I think. I’m not sure about the rice thing anymore. Prbbttt

              January 3, 2012
              • You just taught me something new, oh wise baking Yoda πŸ™‚

                January 3, 2012
  17. Oh yum… those look so good. I’ve wanted to try making homemade Fig Newtons for years but have never tried. You make it look so easy. You may have convinced me!

    January 3, 2012
    • That’s 3 in a row for me! Yaaa-hoo. Looks like you have your oven ready to rock for some fortune cookies, no-wheat thins, and fig newtons πŸ™‚ Baby is going to be happy over there…

      January 3, 2012
      • Well, I’ll be happy anyway… I need goodies to keep my spirits up in these final days!

        January 3, 2012
        • Can you believe that baby is almost here?? Are you ready to be done being pregnant?

          January 3, 2012
          • No and yes. I’m ready to be done being pregnant but the idea of having a tiny baby again is freaking me out! Also, I have a cold and we haven’t picked a name for him yet, so he should probably stay in a couple more days til that’s all sorted out.

            Maybe I should be prioritizing my baked goods so that I make the more delicious things first… just in case… or maybe I should put them further back in the queue for when my pregnancy morale gets particularly low…

            January 3, 2012
            • Oh yay, another boy in the house! You should name him Sherbert <–first name that came to me πŸ™‚

              January 3, 2012
  18. Nina #

    We have a different name for this kind of biscuit here in Oz (not that I can remember it, for the life of me). I guess I’d call them ‘fruit pillows if I was describing them to someone. My dad came up with the delightful term ‘squashed fly biscuits’… Honestly, fathers!
    Anyhoo, they were obviously NOT vegan so I haven’t had one in 10+ years. Your reincarnation will have me dreaming about eating them tonight. πŸ™‚
    Honestly Cara, you are such a prolific baker/cook/creator I’d really better start making your recipes every day. Otherwise how am I ever going to get through all the nut-free ones? πŸ˜‰
    Love your work hun, but hey, you know that!

    January 3, 2012
    • That is something my dad would call them too. Back in the ’80s when I used to wear scrunchies (the puffy fabric ladden hair ties) in my hair, he would always ask, “Why are you wearing toilet paper on your head??!” Lovely.
      Sounds like you have your work cut out for you with baking now πŸ™‚ You better keep up because the year just started and the ideas are flowing…
      P.S. Thank you again for the sweet words. You are my favorite Australian ever πŸ™‚

      January 3, 2012
  19. cara- these look perfect! like you pulled them out of a fig newton bag! i used to loooooove fig newtons!

    January 3, 2012
    • Looks like I am not only just bringing myself back to my childhood favorites this week…

      January 3, 2012
  20. I saw that photo while browsing for blogs and…woa, the memories!! I used to eat similar cookies when I was younger, and I have the worst cravings right now!

    January 3, 2012
    • Well, I guess that means only one thing, Sylvia–time to warm up that oven and bake some πŸ™‚

      January 3, 2012
  21. These look amazing, the photos are great. I’ve always adored fig rolls, so these would be right up my street πŸ˜€

    January 3, 2012
    • Fig rolls–I love that term! The filling is definitely something I could imagine as one of your genius creations πŸ™‚

      January 3, 2012
      • I think you give me too much credit πŸ˜€

        January 3, 2012
        • No way, man! Do you see the clever things you make???

          January 3, 2012

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