I don’t know about you, but I used to be crazy for Fig Newtons! The moist cake surrounding a soft, sweet, fig layer were one of my most coveted treats! Since my health and allergies have changed my way of living and eating, I’ve wanted to revamp the Newton to suit my new dietary habits, and I believe I’ve done it! These babies not only taste phenomenal, but they’re vegan and gluten-free! Lately, I’ve been creating more recipes that are vegan, gluten-free or both! I figure more people will be able to eat them that way, since so many are eating that way these days due to allergies or ethics. My daughter, Jade, has also been showing signs of having a gluten sensitivity, so I’ve been purposefully tailoring some creations for her. My husband took one bite of this and declared with giddy glee, ‘that’s a Fig Newton!’, so I’m hopeful that anyone who tries this recipe will agree!

Fig Cookies [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

  • 25 dried figs
  • 2 T. grape seed oil
  • 2 T. applesauce
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 6 T. coconut milk
  • 1 c. oats (ground into flour)
  • 1/4 c. raw buckwheat groats (ground into flour)
  • 1/2 c. brown rice flour
  • 1/4 c. chia seeds (ground into flour)
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 15 drops liquid stevia, divided
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Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, cover figs with water (just enough that they are still poking out the top of the water). Bring to a boil, shut the heat off, but let pan remain on the stove. Let the pan sit on the burner for about 15 minutes, until cooled a bit. While the figs cool, begin mixing the dough. Mix the dry ingredients (oat flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, chia flour, baking soda, and salt), in one bowl. The chia seeds act as a binder in the dough, but if you prefer flax seeds, they will work as well! Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl (oil, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla, and 8 drops of stevia). Mix all the dough ingredients together (it will be very thick…you will be thinking, ‘wow, I need more milk’, but this is not the case).
  3. Oil an 8 x 8 baking dish. Press half of the dough mixture into the bottom of the dish (you will need to use your hands). Add 7 drops of stevia to the fig mix, stir, and spread atop the bottom dough layer. Finally, dollop the remaining dough onto the fig layer, and, using your hands, carefully spread it out to cover the figs.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven heat, until it starts browning around the perimeter and a toothpick comes out clean.
  5.  For the best taste, I would suggest letting them cool completely before cutting. They will then be the most reminiscent of the soft cookie bars you remember from days past.
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