Homemade Fig Newtons

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Homemade Fig Newtons
Much more delicious than the bought kind.  Try the blueberry version, too!

DOUGH/CRUST
6 T. butter, at room temperature
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 t. lemon extract OR 1 t. finely chopped lemon rind
1 t. vanilla
1 c. plus 2 T. flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. cornmeal
1/2 t. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Cream butter, add sugars, then the other ingredients in order, mixing well after each addition. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours.

FILLING
2 lb. fresh figs, washed, stemmed and quartered, OR 1-1/2 cups dried figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped (if using dried figs, add 2 cups water)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar or honey
Grated rind and juice of an orange
1 t. vanilla

In a covered saucepan, heat figs and other filling ingredients to a boil, then lower the heat to medium. Remove lid from pan and cook until most of the liquid evaporates and the mixture is thick, stirring occasionally and breaking up the figs. Be watchful as the mixture gets thick because it will stick to the pan. Remove from heat. This will yield about 2 cups of filling. Refrigerate the filling until very cool. (Or, use blueberry filling to make blueberry newtons).

Spray two 11X15 inch baking sheets with Pam, or use parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, cut it in half and return half to the refrigerator. On a flour covered board, or between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper, roll the remaining dough to a 9X10 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise. Spoon 1/2 cup of filling down the center of each strip. Then fold each side over the filling in thirds to make a seam.
Using two metal spatulas, carefully turn the dough with the seam side down onto the baking sheet, at least 3 inches away from each other. Repeat with the other sections of dough on the second baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes, until firm and golden brown. Cool at least 5 minutes. Trim off the ends (a tasty snack), then cut each roll into 1-inch bars. Store in an airtight container a few days, or refrigerate. They freeze well, too. About 40 bars.

(Optional) Blueberry filling: Bring to a boil. Cook and stir 10 minutes. Cool before using.

3 cups blueberries, coarsely pureed
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 T. cornstarch
(optional) 1 t. cinnamon

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