Ok, I am so so so excited about this recipe for (healthy) homemade strawberry newtons! I had done a little research to see if there was anything that would make a good substitute for butter in cookies and let me tell you, the results were grim. So I went ahead and made this recipe that I had found online that was already altered to be healthy but still included butter. However, instead of using the butter I substituted a half cup pumpkin and 2 T. safflower oil. These cookies didn’t turn out horrible and were actually pretty good, but in all honestly they were more like a whole wheat pie crust with strawberry filling and nothing like a thick, cakey fig newton. Bummer.
So I decided the best place to start was with an unhealthy, regular ‘ole homemade newton recipe and I’d modify however I saw fit. I found this one from Serious Eats and went with it, although I was a little skeptical of a couple of things, such as putting the cookies hot out of the oven into an air-tight container in order to “age”. But I was proved wrong–these are phenomenal! I did leave half the butter in but replaced the other half with pumpkin…and I can’t believe it worked! These are low on sugar and full of whole grains, great for both adults and kids!
- 1½ c. White Whole Wheat Flour
- ¼ t. Fine Sea Salt
- ½ Stick Unsalted, All-Natural Butter, softened
- ¼ c. Pumpkin
- ¼ c. Sugar in the Raw
- 2 T. Honey
- ¼ t. Baking Soda
- 2 t. Pure Vanilla
- ⅛ t. Cinnamon
- 1 Large Egg plus 2 Egg Whites, room temperature
- 1 T. Orange Juice
- 1 c. All Fruit, No Added Sugar Strawberry Jam
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter, sugar, honey, baking soda, vanilla and cinnamon on medium speed until thoroughly mixed, about 5-7 minutes (it will still look runny and not fluffy, but that's ok!). Scrape down the sides with a spatula and continue mixing. With the mixer still running add the egg and mix thoroughly; add the egg white, one at each time, mixing throughly after each addition. Beat on high for two minutes. Turn the mixer on low and add the flour. Drizzle in the orange juice and continue mixing until thoroughly combined and dough is homogenous.
- Prepare a large sheet of plastic wrap and use a rubber spatula to transfer the dough from the bowl to the center of the plastic. Wrap the dough with the plastic, place in an air-tight container and let firm up in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight (I left mine in for about 9 hours).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Dust your counter generously with flour and gently (press LIGHTLY) start to roll dough out into a large rectangle, about 12x16. Halfway through rolling, dust the surface of your dough generously with flour, flip and continue rolling. With a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 4 strips, about 3½ inches wide. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the strawberry jam down the middle of the dough, fold the edges over the filling and pinch to seal (make sure you seal them completely). Brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush. Place the dough strips on a the cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
- As soon as the cookies are removed from the oven, use a sharp knife to trim each bar into several 1"long cookies. While the cookies are still warm, transfer them to an air-tight plastic container. If you need to stack the cookies, use parchment paper or foil between the layers. Seal the container tightly. This is done to slightly steam the cookies and give them the cake like texture..and it WORKS. Don't skip this step.