This recipe is lightly adapted from Stella Parks’ Fig Newtons as seen on Serious Eats. For step by step images, check out her post here. I’ve converted this recipe to cups and tablespoons for the non-scale-measuring baker. Recipe last updated 8/27/19.
1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. orange juice
1/2 tsp. orange zest
2 egg yolks
3/4 c. dried black Mission figs, halved
2 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 tbsp. orange juice
1/2 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Make the dough at least one hour in advance. In a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Grab enough zest from the orange for the dough and filling before juicing. Set aside. Then add in the honey*, orange juice, and zest. Mix until well combined. Then add in the yolks one at a time, and mix once more to evenly combine. Add in the dry mixture, and mix on low until evenly combined. Dough will be dense but slightly sticky. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and press into a 1-inch disk. Chill for at least 1 hour to firm up.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Remove any stems from the figs and cut in half for accurate measuring. Add all of the filling ingredients to a food processor or Vitamix, and blend until a cohesive paste forms. Note: if using a Vitamix, it will take a bit longer to accomplish. Continue stopping the machine and scraping down the sides, then blend or pulse on low speed. Place the filling in a pastry piping bag or ziplock bag and snip off a good chunk of the corner for piping. We want a wide pipe.
Assemble the newtons. On a well floured surface, begin by kneading the dough until it’s a rollable consistency, not sticky. Think of this dough as a pastry. Whenever making pastries, you often have to go by sight and feel for the correct consistency, adding flour at this stage. We want this dough to easily roll out without creating a dense cake once baking. On a well floured surface, roll the dough to a about a 7″ x 14″ rectangle. Using a ruler, trim out the rectangle to create sharp lines. Cut the rectangle long-ways in half so that you have two 3.5″ x 14″ rectangles.
Pipe the filling down the center of the of each rectangle, using most, if not all, of the filling. Add water to a small bowl. Dip your finger in the water, and flatten out the filling to about 1″ wide. Using a spatula or pastry bench, plus a little flour, gently fold one side of the dough over the filling. Wetting your finger again, dab the edge of the dough with water to act as glue, then carefully fold the other side of the dough over, and gently press to glue. Repeat with the other log. Carefully transfer to a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet, seam side down.
Place in the freezer to chill for 12 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°F to help hold the shape. Then bake for 14-18 minutes or until just lightly golden. Immediately cut logs into individual newtons after removing from the oven, about 16 total, or 8 on each log, with a pastry bench or sharp knife. Cool on cooling rack before placing in an airtight container. Allow to rest and soften for atleast 4 hours before serving, preferrably overnight. To lengthen life, store in the freezer for up to 2 months, and pull out to thaw before eating or place frozen in a lunch box.
*For easy honey release from your measuring utensil, spray lightly with cooking oil.
Recipe easily doubles. Before rolling out, cut the dough in half and follow recipe accordingly. You will have two 7″ x 14″ rectangles that will turn into 4 logs, 32 newtons total.