The Secret Ingredient to the Perfect Fig Bar
Discovering what was missing in the original recipe was a bit of a happy accident. I went to make them thinking I had all the ingredients. A general scan of my pantry showed dried figs, flour, sugar. I’d grab the orange I needed from my tree (#blessed), I was prepared. Except, I was missing 4 ounces of figs.
I filled in the missing amount with sweetened dried cranberries. The results were just great. A little tinsy tart. Not too much, just enough to make things interesting. They still tasted deeply of figs and not at all like cranberries. Who knew what fig bars needed was dried cranberries?
I also didn’t read the recipe (I’m like the poster child of how NOT to bake) and added all the filling to the bars. It was too much filling, oozed out the sides when you bit into them, but kind of indulgently good.
Here’s what else you need to know from the first time I made the recipe
No thank you.
I wanted all the cakey, figgy goodness without all the fuss. So I took the best of all the recipes I found and layered them into bars. This makes way more fig puree than you will need for the bars, but I’ve enjoyed eating the leftovers on toast and mixed into yogurt so much that I’m glad I made too much. The fig puree will last up to a month covered in the refrigerator.
Fig Bars Recipe
Sweet dried Mission figs and tart cranberries pureed with orange and layered between a buttery, chewy shortbread cookie crust.
- 8 ounces finely chopped dried Black Mission Figs
- 4 ounces dried cranberries
- 1 cup apple juice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest, divided
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine figs, cranberries, 1 1/2 cups water, apple juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until figs are very soft, about 1 hour. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and add 1/4 teaspoon of the orange zest. Process until smooth and let cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to break up any lumps. Place butter and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl and paddle and add eggs and vanilla and remaining 3/4 teaspoon orange zest. Beat until combined. Turn off mixer and add flour mixture. Beat on low until just combined. Shape dough into a flat disk and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish. Remove dough from refrigerator and break in half. Crumble half of the dough into an even layer on the bottom of baking dish. Press down with a measuring cup or your fingers to form a even cookie layer. Spread 1 cup of the fig puree over the dough, then crumble remaining dough evenly over the top.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until top crust is golden brown. Cool to room temperature before cutting.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g
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