A more nutritious fig newton made gluten free and vegan!! You won’t believe how sophisticated these taste compared to the original!
I absolutely LOVED Fig Newtons growing up!! They were a classic, so figuring out how to make them from scratch was a real bonus!
The addition of the orange zest really blows this filling over the top, it is simply amazing!! So don’t be tempted to leave it out!
To keep the bars wholesome, I stuck to my all time favorite gluten free flour: teff! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this flour for so many reasons.
- It’s super nutritious
- It’s incredibly flavorful (reminds me a bit of whole wheat)
- It’s easy to work with
Seriously, you’ve got to try teff flour if you never had, it’s a winner!
I started with an old favorite cookbook, Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar. I really love these authors and use their books frequently for inspiration. I had to make the recipe gluten free and I changed a couple other things up to make it healthier. Enjoy!
- ¾ pound dried figs, stems removed and coarsely chopped (about 2 generous cups)
- ⅔ cup water (or more)
- 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup (or stevia, honey)
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon or orange zest
- Cookie Crust:
- 2 tablespoons chia mealor flax meal
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk
- ¾ cup coconut palm sugar(or brown sugar, or up to half liquid stevia)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup plus 1T melted coconut oil (or other favorite oil)
- 1 cup gluten free oat flour (make your own by whirring rolled oats in a coffee grinder)
- ½ cup teff flour
- ½ teaspoon guar gum
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- In a small saucepan, cook the filling ingredients over a low simmer for 10-20 minutes. Mash periodically, adding more water as necessary. I always seem to use a cup or more of water as my figs are very dry. You want the end moisture to be thick and moist like a thick jelly. Just keep mashing around until the pieces are mostly broken down. If you have kiddos averse to texture, you could puree the mixture in a food processor.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the chia meal and room temp milk. Add in the palm sugar and vanilla. While continually whisking, pour in the melted coconut oil.
- Sprinkle in the dry ingredients, in order.
- Using your whisk,lightly mix the dry ingredients before whisking more thoroughly into the wet. Stir until a wet dough is formed.
- Rolling the two cookie crusts/assembly:
- Roll out one 8 x 8 square. Use at least one piece of parchment, and another piece of either a greased or floured piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Roll the dough out between the two sheets. This keeps the sticky dough away from your rolling pin.
- Remove the top piece, leaving the dough directly on the parchment.
- Lift the paper with the dough and place into an 8 x 8 baking dish.
- Spread the filling evenly over the bottom crust.
- The top crust is trickier as you have to remove both pieces that you rolled between. Flouring generously each sheet helps with this. Flour or grease both pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper thoroughly. Roll the remaining dough out to apx an 8 x 8 square. Gently remove the top piece, and lift the remaining piece: invert on top of the filling. It does not have to look perfect!
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. Let cool completely before cutting...if you can wait that long!
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