Marissa’s Fig Cookie Recipe gives us a homemade version of the classic processed “Fig Newton” cookie. This recipe makes a spiced, cakey biscuit casing with a chewy, gooey, naturally sweet fruit filling. Why not prepare these treats for Tu B’Shvat, when we enjoy the seven species from the Torah: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
If you are not sure when Tu B’Shvat is this year, check on the Annual Jewish Calendar right here.
Community Recipes is a recurring feature where we share your recipes on the Jewish Food Hero blog. If you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here. This series is all about sharing Kosher recipes. We are creating a positive community around food and sharing.
Tell us about yourself, Marissa Wojcik!
I grew up in Skokie, IL and currently live in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Along the way, I lived in a few other places including Ann Arbor, MI (Go Blue!) and Philadelphia, PA. My whole family is back in the Chicago suburbs, spread across the North Shore. I am engaged to the greatest and most patient man, whose family lives across Southern California. We are very fortunate to have them so close, especially in the days when we couldn’t travel to see mine.
My day job is working in a Holocaust Museum, which is a very meaningful position as my grandmother is a Holocaust Survivor.
Baking is my way of relieving my anxiety and stress. I also get a lot out of going to the gym! I love all animals and in my spare time, I volunteer at an urban farm near our house that provides job training to adults with disabilities. This weekend, I had to chase two chickens around to catch them after they got scared by a small child!
Tell us about your passion project
I started my blog, North Shore to South Bay, during the early days of the pandemic as a way to stay connected with my family and the Jewish community as a whole. All of my recipes incorporate Jewish traditions and culture while putting new and fun spins on them.
I hope that the recipes inspire a new generation of young Jewish cooks and bakers to explore their family histories through food. One day, I would love to be on a food network competition show!
You can find me sharing recipes on Instagram at @northshoretosoutbay.
What’s the story behind your Fig Cookie Recipe?
I don’t actually like Fig Newton cookies, I never have. In fact, I don’t really even like figs. Their little seeds freak me out, it’s a texture thing.
But so many of my friends grew up loving these fig cookie s that I had to give them one more try. I figured, why not try them for Tu B’Shvat since figs are one of the 7 species that we eat during the holiday! There are seven species that we eat on the holiday of Tu B’Shvat: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
Tell us about your favorite cookbooks
Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh
This book celebrates Molly Yeh’s Jewish and Chinese heritage, and traces her life via the food she loves. This books takes the reader from Chicago to New York to where Molly currently lives, on a Midwestern farm! With photos, recipes and stories, this is an engaging and entertaining read, and much more than a recipe book! The 120 recipes featured include: Asian Scotch Eggs, Scallion Pancake Challah Bread, Cardamom Vanilla Cake and Marzipan Mandel Bread.
Israeli Soul by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook
This book takes us to the heart and soul of Israeli cuisine. To research for this book, Solomonov and Cook searched throughout Israel, from the sleepy mountain top towns to the busy cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. True Israeli food is what we find in markets, tiny restaurants and little “hole-in-the-wall” spots.
Expect classic recipes, passed down through generations: falafel pita, spiced grilled meats, chopped salads, stuffed veg, hummus. And then there’s the sweet stuff: pastries, ice creams, and shakes. All adapted to be totally do-able from a regular home kitchen, with step-by-step instructions.
Tell us about your connection with Judaism. How is it expressed in your life in general, and in your kitchen?
Food, Family, and Tradition are my connection to Judaism. The recipes passed down through the generations are one of the strongest forms of primary sources we have. They are tangible. We can still create the same food that our ancestors created in whatever country they were from. There is a connection to the past here that is so special.
How do you express your values in your home through your kitchen?
I love to host. A shabbat dinner, a birthday party, a holiday gathering, you name it and I will host it. Sharing these moments surrounded by friends, family, and food is what warms my heart and my home. We try to avoid eating a lot of sugar in our house… which is quite hard when you run a baking blog!
What is the best thing you learned from another person about food and hospitality?
If a recipe doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world! You have learned from it and can try again.
What three food items could you not live without?
Brisket, Kale, and Peanut Butter (not all together!)
Give us your best food tip!
People say baking is a science, but you can experiment! Add a new ingredient, modify the flavors, make it your own!Print
For the Cookie Dough:
½ Cup butter, softened
½ Cup brown sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 ½ Cups whole wheat flour
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon cloves
¼ Teaspoon nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon baking soda
For the Fig Filling:
2 Cups dried black mission figs
½ Cup water
½ Cup freshly squeezed orange (about 2 oranges worth of juice)
½ Teaspoon salt
1–2 Tablespoons honey
In the bowl of a stand mixer, on high speed, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Mix until just combined. Add in the flour, baking soda, and spices. Mix until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto greaseproof paper. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least an hour.
To make the filling, place all ingredients into a sauce pot, except for the honey. Heat over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the figs begin to plump and there is no liquid left in the pot.
While still warm, place the figs in a food processor. Pulse a few times to begin to chop the figs. Add in the honey and continue to pulse until a thick paste has formed.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the dough is chilled, roll out (on a floured surface) into a 10 inch by 14 inch rectangle. Cut the rough edges off so that you have a perfect rectangle of dough.
Cut the dough lengthwise into 3 even strips. Place the fig mixture into a gallon size ziploc bag and cut the corner to create a piping bag.
Pipe a continuous line of the fig filling down the center of each strip of dough. Fold the dough so that the two sides meet in the center. Pinch the seam to seal and roll to create a log of dough w/ the fig filling. Complete for the other 2 strips of dough.
Place the logs onto a greased cookie sheet and press down to create the iconic Fig Newton flat shape.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and while still warm, cut into 2 inch long cookies! Let cool and enjoy!
Keywords: Tu B’Shvat cookie, fig, fig newton, fig roll
More Community Recipes
Jewish Food Hero’s Community Recipes feature is a space for us all to share our favorites and hear from a variety of people in our community. This is an easy and fun way to get new meal ideas and learn about each other. Since you’ve read Marissa’s recipe, do you feel inspired to share your Kosher recipe? Don’t forget to get in touch to share your recipe too!
Check out these other recipes from our community: