Fig Newton Pinwheels

This is childhood, in a cookie.  Fig newtons were a staple in my house growing up.  My mom always gave them to my sister, brother, and I in school lunches and as an afternoon snack.  Funny enough, I never liked dried figs just fig newtons.  Now I can’t get enough plain figs, but a part of me will always crave old-fashioned fig newtons, just without all the nasty ingredients that come along with store bought cookies.  Enter homemade fig newtons made without oil, refined sugar, gluten, and chemicals.  I also threw in a fancy spiral shape just for fun 🙂

I stumbled upon a recipe for these gluten-free fig newtons over at Elana’s Pantry about a year ago. I adapted my recipe from that one and have created the ultimate homemade fig newton cookie! Almond flour is the base for the dough portion, with naturally sweet date paste offering a caramel flavor and rich cashew butter replacing oil.  The filling is made using only three ingredients: dried figs, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla extract.  Swirled together, these fig newtons are even tastier than their store-bought counterparts!

I’d also like to give you guys some exciting news.  I launched the official Facebook page for Margaret’s Dish!  Check it out here and tell your friends!  Also, my recent recipe for Lemon Chia Seed Scones with Sweet Lemon Cashew Glaze was featured in on Buzz Feed in an article titled “31 Healthy And Delicious Ways To Cook With Chia Seeds”.  The article also contains a lot of other scrumptious recipes featuring the super seed, chia!

Fig Newton Pinwheels
vegan, gluten-free 

adapted from Elana’s Pantry

Yield:  44 cookies

2 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp almond flour
1/4 cup cashew butter (or nut butter of choice)
1/2 cup date paste
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:
1 cup diced dried figs* (I used organic Turkish figs)
1 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

*make sure to remove the top of the fig, where there usually is a small piece of hard stem.

Directions:
1.  Heat cashew butter until it is soft.  Mix in date paste and vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet ones and mix until fully incorporated.  Place in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.

2.  In the base of a food processor, add all filling ingredients and blend until a paste forms.  It will not be smooth because of the fig seeds, but it will have a jam-like consistency.

3.  Take the dough out of the fridge.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line a baking pan with parchment paper.  Cut the dough into three equal pieces and roll them into a ball shape.  Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper into a long oval shape about 6-8 inches wide.  Spread 1/3 of the fig filling evenly over each piece of dough.  Using the parchment paper, roll the dough 1″ at a time to create the spiral pinwheel center.

Tuck in the sides and bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, or until the ends just turn golden brown.  Let cool completely.

4.  Cut the dough logs with a sharp knife into 1/2″ thick cookies.  Lay them on the lined baking pan and bake them for 10 more minutes, flipping half-way through.  Let cool before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.

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