Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Newtons

Do you know what’s harder than packing lunches every.single.day? Sending your “baby” to “school” for the first time.

That’s right, Baby G began  a 3-day-a-week childcare program last week. It’s been a very difficult decision for me… but I know it’s the right one. This past year, I moved my office into our home (by spending a few thousand dollars on air conditioning and finishing a 300sq ft room above the garage), hired numerous sitters and re-arranged all of our family’s schedule and activities  to stay on track with the baby’s needs.

You know who I forgot to take care of? ME. This past year has been really difficult to manage on very little sleep and drinking a lot more caffeine than I should.

While many of you have been encouraging and super helpful… unfortunately some people very close to our family have been less than. “Why don’t you just quit? Why not just put all of MOMable’s lunch menus on the internet and let people find the information for themselves?”

Seriously, it has been that negative and worse. My response is always the same. I am not quitting because I love my community and what I do, I love helping thousands who struggle to pack lunches for their family day after day and I see a bright future for the entire MOMables team.  Thankfully, my husband reminds me to “not listen to those people” and move on.

Last Monday was Baby G’s first day of organized daycare. I think I’ve spent more time watching him on the cameras than working… but it’s an adjustment for me too.  He is now clingy, has started to cry a lot when I put him down for naps and is waking up 2-3times at night. He sure knows how to make mom feel guilty!

It’s been a very difficult decision for me… but I know that it’s the right one for us (even 3 days a week). I couldn’t continue working from 9pm-1 am or later… night after night. Now, I can hopefully get some rest and begin to feel human again.

Ok, back to the reason for these “newtons”. The facility provides two snacks and lunch every day for the kids; I, however, waived the food program for Gabriel completely–Yes, I am that mom. I don’t feed my kids corn dogs, canned vegetables, fake cheese, boxed foods… the list goes on. Like school lunches across the nation, parents think that because the food is made in a kitchen that it’s with fresh ingredients. Sadly, no.

Since I have to provide G with two snacks per day, I figured I’d look at their calendar and see what types of “snack” foods they offered. The first one I decided to tackle was the fig newtons. The funny thing is that G likes the bar part of the newton but he doesn’t like the fig bits so he spits the insides out.Well, you know that I have a thing for  the cinnamon raisin combination, so naturally my first thought was to fill this homemade version with it!
Boy, you are going to be glad I did! I began testing the recipe with the dough from a recipe I found in pinterest, but I didn’t like it at all. It was hard and did not have the cakey texture of real newtons. After six different tries of more egg, less sugar, substitute honey, no butter add coconut oil… I think I found a winner.
If you need a little help in the baking department check out this 45second video of how to make these newtons. This recipe is much easier than it reads; but you might find that the visual helps explain the directions.

Check out the recipe notes to make this recipe vegan and gluten free . I hope your family enjoys these as much as mine did!
4.6 from 5 reviews
Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Newtons
 
Author:
Ingredients
Filling:
  • 1⅓ cups California Raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Dough:
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened*
  • ½ cup sugar or brown sugar or sucanat (do not use honey, it will make dough too sticky)
  • 1 large egg*
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white flour*
  • ½ cup whole wheat (or all white but NOT all whole wheat)*
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, place raisins and pour enough boiling water to cover them. Let the raisins soak up the moisture for 10-15 minutes until they are plump.
  2. Drain raisins and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the honey and cinnamon to the raisins and pulse a few times to combine. Puree the cinnamon raisin mixture until it is a smooth paste.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (could also use a big mixing bowl and use either a hand mixer or a whisk), cream sugar and butter until smooth.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla, mix for another 2 minutes until you have a sweet paste.
  6. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. Add the flour mix (1/2 cup at a time) with your mixer turned on, until a dough forms.
  8. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper into 12x4 inch strips. Remove top piece or paper.
  9. Spread half of the cinnamon raisin paste along the center third of each rectangle nearly all the way to the top and bottom edges.
  10. Using the bottom piece of parchment paper to assist you, lift one third of the dough rectangle and put it on top of half of the raisin paste.
  11. Repeat process with the other side and gently press the dough along the center line and top and bottom edges.
  12. Cut each rectangular "log" into 8-10 pieces or bake whole and cut with a pizza cutter later. Transfer pieces to a silicone or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  13. Bake 18 minutes (add a couple of minutes if baking whole), or until golden brown.
  14. Allow cookies to cool off before serving.
Notes
Vegan option: substitute butter for coconut oil, egg for 1 Tablespoon ground flax 3 Tablespoons warm water. Mix and wait until a paste forms. You could also use egg-replacer. Gluten Free: substitute flour for all purpose flour mix + 1 teaspoon xanthan gum.

Comments

  1. says

    We all do that don’t we. Forget to take care of us!!! I thought that the other day when I saw my horrible dusty shoes and my hair sticking out! If we’re not healthy the kids can’t be either so def take care of you!
    Love the recipe (and you) by the way! Happy V Day! xo

  2. SoFLMom says

    These look amazing!!!!!!! I cannot wait to try them. I struggle with what to feed my Baby girl every day. I am so happy I found your site today. :)

  3. says

    These are great, I am always looking for new recipes for my kids cooking classes. I am going to try and make them vegan and gluten free with brown rice flour. Thanks for sharing!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Great Sarah! Make sure you use xanthan gum if you are making them gluten free. the pastry part will be very dense otherwise.

  4. Sarah says

    Not that you haven’t done enough here, lol, but do you have any suggestions for experimenting with other fruit fillings? Do you think straight up (delicious, thick, homemeade) jam would work? My kids are not big raisin fans, but we all love newtons!
    You’re awesome. Thanks for all you do!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      I can tell you that the “cinnamon raisin” filling doesn’t taste like “raisins” just a sweet paste like the figs but without the little “pebbles” as my kids call them. if you use a jam, it will run off. Try using other dried fruits… like apricots… and repeat the process. the key to the filling is for it to be a thick “paste”

  5. Baxter says

    Hi Laura! Thanks for all the amazing recipes! I was also interested in making these with another kind of fruit filling. Do you think pectin or some other kind of thickening agent could be used when cooking the fruit, say for example strawberries? Thanks again!!!!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Hi! I am testing them with strawberries as we speak. the first two tries came out “runny” and just not thick enough. your best bet is going to be 1 cup fruit 1/4cup sugar/honey, 1 tb lemon juice. :)the fruit needs to be cooked into a “paste” otherwise it will run out.

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Thank you Sarah! I just left you a comment. I have step by step pictures but for some reason are not working on here. I will add them soon. Thank you!
      Laura

  6. Amanda says

    We don’t use white flour but have spelt, whole wheat and oat flour. Your recipe says not to use all ww could oat or spelt be substituted for the white flour? Thanks

  7. Kim CHO says

    My kids love the Newtons that sell in the store. I stopped buying them due to all the ingredients. My son hates raisins but he may “fall” for this! I wonder if I mix raisins and strawberries if he would eat that… Hmmmmm

    Thanks for all you do!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Hi Kim! if you add strawberries they might be too runny. I swear they don’t taste like raisins from the box. They become a sweet paste… so much better!!

  8. says

    I will be making these! I was thrilled to see them, my son is very picky and just doesn’t like anything. I know he will like these! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Amy says

    In the oven as I type!! I’m so excited. I love the boxed fig newtons, but not the preservatives and added hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
    Out of the oven and looking good. I may have made them too fat. Next time I’ll make them thinner.
    They taste a little sour. I’ll be making them with figs next time.

    All in all, lovely recipe.

  10. says

    I just popped over here from Facebook and I wanted to tell you that you of course are doing the right thing for G! I am sure by now he is settled and so happy with his new friends. My baby has been in school since he was little and still goes through spurts of crying (usually around the clingy phases of babyhood) so please try not to feel guilty. It will be so great for all of you!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Thank you so much Kinsey! Yes, he goes through better and worse crying spells but the teachers say he is happy there. He is learning lots of things… and most importantly to talk! when you are the 3rd kid around the house… the older ones seem to “know” what he needs before he says it! :) thank you for stopping by :)

  11. Michele B says

    Made these a few weeks ago. They are good, but too much cinnamon for me, even though we love cinnamon. Going to give them another shot only I am actually going to use figs and no cinnamon. The pastry part was delicious though! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!

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