Saturday, May 03, 2008

Homemade Newtons (Fig or Apricot)

Fresh soft and wholesome cookies for adults and children. These take just a bit more time than a standard drop cookie but so worth it. You can use figs as the recipe indicates, but I prefer an apricot or even strawberry rhubarb filling.

Home Made Newtons

1/3 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp orange or lemon zest
1/8 tsp or less salt

Optional: finely chopped walnuts about 1/2 cup

Fig Filling

2 cups dried figs, finely chopped (or dried apricots)
1 1/3 cup water (or substitute some more lemon juice if you like a tarter filling)
3 Tbs lemon juice or orange juice
1/3 cup sugar

Cream the butter and brown sugar very well. Add the eggs and beat until light. Add the vanilla. Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture one third at a time and beat well. Briefly knead the dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a couple of hours,.

Meanwhile: make the filling. Combine the chopped dried fruit and rest of filling ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until thickened. Cool.

Roll out the dough into about a 14 inch square. Cut into three strips. Mound 1/3 of the filling down the center of each strip. Using an offset spatula flip the long sides over to slightly overlap. Press gently to seal and carefully transfer to a greased cookie sheet. Leave 3 inches space between the strips. Cut crossways into seven or so equal 1 inch pieces but do not separate.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are puffy and firm to the touch. Everyone's oven cooks at a slightly different pace. You want the cookies done but not hard. Cool for about 15 minutes and then separate the pieces and place on a wire rack to completely cool.

I prefer the tarter "California Style" dried apricots that have been treated with sulphur to retain their bright orange colour, over the more readily available "Turkish Style". If you use the Turkish apricots you might want to reduce the sugar just a bit. A nice touch is to add a bit of Grand Marinier in the filling with either the figs or apricots.

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