Fig newtons, forget it! I took some fresh cherries and made them into cherry newtons. Excellent choice if I do say so myself. I adore fresh cherries but rarely cook with them because they are such a pain to work with. Cutting out all those pits is, well, the pits. Usually I’ll just buy a pound and eat them for a snack, that is, until I got a cherry pitter.
My life changed for the better when Oxo sent me a cherry pitter. No, I’m not being dramatic (ok, maybe a little). This little gadget makes pitting cherries a breeze, and opened up an entire world of cherry recipes for this lazy lady. I’m hoping to cram in a dozen or so before stone fruit season ends. Hopefully The Hubs likes cherries as much as I do or I may be eating alone.
These newtons were chewy, delicious and just like the store bought ones, HOWEVER, this was not the easiest baking project I’ve ever tackled. I consider myself an experienced baker at this point, but I didn’t have a clue as to how these would turn out until they actually came out of the oven. For someone who hates rolling out dough, this was definitely a lesson in patience. The dough is very sticky and requires a delicate touch in order to manipulate without ripping. It was all worth it in the end while I chowed down on some fresh cherry newtons, but I warn everyone to proceed with caution. If you’re feeling adventurous, and have some serious patience, give this recipe a try!
Fresh Cherry Newtons
Make your own fig newtons with fresh cherries
For the filling
- 16 oz fresh pitted cherries
- 1/2 c water
- 1/2 c sugar
- 2 T cornstarch
For the dough
- 1 Stick 8 Tbsp Butter
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 T honey
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups Flour
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
To make the filling
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, water, sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Cool completely. Using a stick blender, blend until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
To make the cookies
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the honey, lemon zest and vanilla. Slowly beat in the egg yolks, one at at time, mixing well between each addition
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until well combined.
- Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Roll out the chilled dough in small batches on a well floured surface. This dough is VERY sticky so working in small batches is very helpful. Continue flouring the surface as necessary
- Slice a 6X3 inch rectangle. Spread a 1/2 layer of the filling down the center of the rectangle.
- Using a thin spatula, carefully fold one side of the dough over the filling, then fold the other side over the top to overlap the first side.
- Using the spatula, carefully transfer the rectangle to a parchment lined baking sheet
- Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
- Let the cookies cool for about 10-15 minutes and then slice them into the desired size.