Gettin’ Figgy with it! – Gluten Free Fig Cookies

August 28, 2013

One of my favorite treats from my childhood were Fig Newton cookies. As a kid, I thought they were “healthy cookies,” because they had fruit in them!  But I recently took a peek at the label – the second ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, and they contain 2 other types of sugar (this is a trick for how they keep sugar from being the first ingredient), soybean oil, and partially hydrogenated oil (translation: trans fats). Plus, since going gluten free, I can’t eat wheat flour either (the first ingredient is enriched wheat flour. Enriched translation – all the fiber and minerals have been processed out, so they have to put a few vitamins and minerals back in to make it look better).

Needless to say, it has been years since I have enjoyed a fig cookie, but I have been really into figs lately – so I decided to reinvent the fig bar in the Sara “Superfood” way. These sweet treats are gluten free, have brain-boosting chia seeds in them, no refined sugar (or any of that other junk), and pack nicely in lunch boxes (if you decide to share them with the kids)!  They also freeze beautifully, so make extra!

Gluten Free Fig Bars:

Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend (plus more for rolling) If you want to go grain free on these – just use 2.5 cups of almond flour and skip the gluten free flour.
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup palm date sugar (you could sub organic cane sugar if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup organic butter (or coconut oil if you prefer)
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon ground chia seeds

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups dried figs (I used mission)
  • zest from 1/2 organic lemon
  • 5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon organic local honey or raw agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon ground chia seeds


  1. Cream the palm sugar and butter, and then add in egg, and vanilla, combine the rest of the dough ingredients, wrap in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator to set for at least 30 mins.
  2. Soak the dried figs in water for about 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the water from the figs, and put the figs and all filling ingredients into a food processor, pulse until well combined.  Taste and adjust if needed.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Now take dough out of refrigerator, and cut it into 2 equal pieces.  Coat the rolling pin and the rolling surface very lightly with gluten free flour.  I like to roll it out on a silpat or parchment paper.  If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle more flour on top of the dough for rolling.
  6. Roll out the dough to about 1.8th inch thickness.  Try to make it a good shape for even folding.
  7. Spread half of the fig filling on one side of the dough.  Lift up the other side and fold over the filling (this is when a silpat or parchment paper can help).  Gently press the ends of the dough together to close.  It will look kind of like a flat calzone at this point.  Repeat with other half of the dough and filling.
  8. Put them on a baking sheet and into the oven (again – this is where parchment or a silpat is helpful – to pick it up and put on the baking sheet).
  9. Bake for about 20 mins, until just starting to get golden brown on the edges.
  10. Let cool slightly before slicing.
  11. Store in airtight container or plastic wrap in freezer or refrigerator.

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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