Fig Newtons are a classic cookie from the past, but these reinterpreted gems are much healthier and tastier than anything store-bought. In these bars, delicious gluten-free cookie dough is layered with a thick, rich, jammy fig puree, a perfect pairing. Figs are honey-sweet and have a unique, slightly berry-like flavor that makes these cookies almost magical. They’re great as a breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Reprinted from PlantPure Comfort Food (BenBella Books, 2022).
dried Turkish or Black Mission figs
pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
superfine almond flour (not almond meal)
oat flour, plus more as needed
pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
2. Put the dried figs in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow them to soak for 10–12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, make the cookie dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, oat flour, flaxseed meal, tapioca starch, and baking powder until thoroughly combined. Add the applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir until the ingredients are combined and the dough is thick enough to be formed into a ball. Divide the dough in half. (If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more oat flour to the dough or chill the dough for 1–2 hours.)
4. To make the filling, put the drained figs, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a food processor. Start pulsing to break up the figs, then process for 8–10 seconds or until a thick paste forms.
5. Place one ball of dough on a sheet of parchment paper and shape it into a log. Lay another sheet of parchment over the log and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12 × 4-inch rectangle about ¼ inch thick. Remove the top parchment and use your hands to form an even rectangle.
6. Spoon half of the fig paste down the center of the dough. Lift one long side of the parchment paper and fold the dough up and over the fig filling until the two dough edges close. Remove the parchment and shape and slightly flatten the roll, then slice into 1- to 1½-inch cookies. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough and fig paste. Bake for 8–10 minutes or until slightly golden.