Fig Newtons recipe | Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“I put together a special field kit with some of the things I was going to need, like a Magnum flashlight, ChapStick, some Fig Newtons, plastic bags for important evidence and litter, my cell phone…”

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer

 Homemade fig newtons are not only easy to make, they also taste 100% better than store bought! Inspired by the book Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

This is not your store bought Fig Newtons.

Before I tasted a real fig, I just assumed that a Fig Newton was only making something better. Then I tasted a fresh ripe fig from our backyard last year. Heavens opened, angels sang, life was never the same again, yada yada.

Along  with stumbling across a fig tree last year in the backyard (it was a rental and the backyard was a bit jungle-esque, hence the actual physical stumble), I found that a fully grown fig tree provides fruit hard and fast, on its terms, not yours. And just like that I found myself the proud (if bewildered) owner of a small canning kit, and Jamie gifting me with home preserving books.

I will also say that February in Perth is not the time you want to be standing over a stinking hot stove.

However, having been travelling over this fig season this year, I can honestly say I’m thrilled I made as many fig pastes as I did (half were eaten by the jarful as breakfast. Sometimes with yogurt if we felt guilty about balance). As I came up to the one year mark, I used the last of my jars, smearing them into this delicious Fig Newton cookie.


Fig Newtons | Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Fig Newtons via FoodinLiterature.com

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  • Author: Bryton Taylor; Food in Literature


Units Scale

Fig Spread

  • 300g fig paste (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • or
  • 1 heaped cup of dried figs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  • 115g room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour


  1. If fig paste isn’t being used, in a medium saucepan, place in the dried figs and cover with water. Let soak overnight.
  2. The next day, pour in the sugar, bring to a simmer. Let simmer until the the fig has become soft and breaks apart into a goopy paste.
  3. Mix together the dough, wrap and chill for one hour.
  4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, and cut strips 5cm thick.
  5. Scoop a tsp of fig paste onto one end of the dough strip and roll.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until starting to golden around the edges.


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