I mentioned last week how nostalgia, and the flavors we grew up, influence the recipes we make today. Newton cookies are the perfect example of a childhood treat often recreated in grown-up fashion. These cookies were a regular part of the rotation when I was a pastry cook at Spago—we made big batches of cookie dough and spiced fig filling every few days for the restaurant’s popular cookie plate.
In my home version I’ve swapped the traditional fig filling for a golden raisin-chocolate ganache. The filling oozes when you bake them, so they do require a little extra clean-up, but these newtons are worth the extra effort. They’re absolutely addictive—rich, chocolatey, and tender. And although the homemade version is more sugar-cookie like than the spongey store-bought variety, take one look at these treats and you are instantly reminded of childhood lunch snacks.
Golden Raisin-Chocolate Newtons, adapted from Desserts by the Yard
Servings: 30 cookies
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 cup semisweet chocolate, melted
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 large egg white
1½ cups cake flour
1 egg, whisked
For the filling: In a small sauce pot, combine the raisins, sugar, and orange juice. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Purèe and pass through a chinois. Combine thoroughly with the melted chocolate and refrigerate.
For the cookie dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffily, 3 to 5 minutes. Add in egg, scrape down, and then add in flour. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness and cut into 2-inch strips. Fill a pastry bag with the raisin filling. Brush dough with egg wash, pipe raisin filling down the center of dough, and fold sides over filling. Refrigerate until firm, 10 to 15 minutes, then cut logs into 1/2-inch cookies. Bake on a lined cookie sheet for 12 to 15 minutes, turning after 7 minutes. Filling will ooze out as cookies bake; carefully remove cookies from tray after baking, using a knife to remove extra filling. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.