I adore fig newtons, but they’re not vegan (whey that was probably sprinkled in for no reason!), so I haven’t eaten them as of late. When I read that there is actually a recipe for making your own in Vegan with a Vengeance, I scurried to make a copy of it out of my friend Kyle’s book and set to bakin’. It made me remember how very tasty dried figs are.
Unfortunately, there were a couple mishaps. For one, I’m pretty sure I used too many figs, because there was a ton of filling left over, and it didn’t break down and get all mushy like fig newtons should be because the water-fig ratio was off. That means lumpy, chunky, chewy filling. Oh poo.
Secondly, the book said to roll out half the dough, cut it into three strips, then repeat, then use three dough strips to cover the other three (filled) strips. I thought it would be hard to maneuver becuase my dough was so sticky, so I used the technique that Kris used, which was dividing the dough into three portions, rolling them out, then filling one half and folding the other over, and pressing to seal the dough. I don’t think I mastered the technique very well, though, because all the lumpy filling got pushed to one side of the cookies.
The cookie part is definitely awesome on its own, but it’s not what I was going for.
On the bright side, I reduced the fat by subbing the margarine in the recipe with soy yogurt. It still has non-hydrogenated organic shortening in it, which seems pretty essential to hold the chilled dough together and keep it from being too terribly sticky when you’re trying to roll it out. And it makes them brown really nicely. I also used whole wheat pastry flour, but I think the recipe would be best with 100% stone-ground whole wheat or some other coarse flour, just because the whole wheat fig newtons were my faves.
So the recipe needs finessing and takes a bit of time to come together, but I really like the novelty of making my own fig newtons. DIY or die, right?