No wheat and no dairy? Then what's in these? you might ask. Magic. Delight. The best newton I've ever had. I'm not kidding - though I was very skeptical my science experiment in the kitchen would turn out well, it totally did.
The thought process went into motion when I realized that I had a lot of dates in the fridge (some leftover from the grocery, which needed to be consumed so I could justify buying the fresh, beautiful ones from the date guy at the local farmers' market). Then a couple of days later, I was walking down the cookie aisle at the grocery (probably a bad idea, I admit, given that I'm in the middle of a cleanse and allowed no refined sugar). I saw Newman's Organic Newtons and had a brief moment of excitement when I thought I might be able to eat them. But alas, the crust was made with flour. That wouldn't do.
I think probably a few more days passed. I still had newtons on the brain. And dates in the fridge. Suddenly, I realized that I could make my own date newtons, which would allow me to sweeten with whatever I wanted and omit the wheat and dairy. Perfect!
To come up with this recipe, I looked up several fig newton recipes online and then started thinking about substitutions... molasses and agave in place of the sugar... oat flour* instead of wheat... dates instead of some of the figs (though I had dried figs on hand, so I threw some of them in, too).
*Besides the actual cookies, oat flour was my favorite new discovery in this recipe. As you would probably expect, it's made from ground oats and tastes like it in a really good way. It's gluten free. I thought the flavor combination of the oat flour and the molasses was amazing and is one I'll definitely try again. Also the texture of the resulting cookie turned out just as you would expect with wheat flour.
Gluten-Free Vegan Date Newtons
Makes about 30 newtons
1 c. dates, pitted
1 c. dried figs
2 Tbsp. almonds
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. pomegranate juice
2 1/2 c. oat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. agave nectar
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. rolled oats
To make filling: Process dates, figs, and almonds in a food processor until they begin to form a paste. Add lemon juice and pomegranate juice and continue to process until you have a smooth paste.
To make the outside of the newton: Combine dry (except rolled oats) and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Mix wet into dry. Press half of crust mixture into bottom of an oiled 8-inch square pan. Spread the date mixture evenly over the crust. Smooth remaining crust over the filling. Sprinkle rolled oats over the top.
Bake 25-30 minutes in a 375 degree oven, until lightly browned.
Once cool, cut into squares. Enjoy!