Fig Bars

A few weeks ago, a friend posted on Facebook about noshing on some reduced fat Fig Newtons, and I was reminded how much I loved them, especially when I was a kid. So I set out to make a homemade fig cookie. I was inspired by a number of different recipes, pulling bits and pieces from here and there to come up with the simplest recipe I could manage for these sandwich cookies. I made mine more bar-sized, but you could certainly cut your squares smaller and make more classic-sized cookies. I will give you fair warning – these are not overly sweet cookies. My husband was not a big fan, but I thought they were really tasty. The dough is light and fluffy, and the fig filling is nice and chewy. You could certainly add a bit more honey to both the filling and the dough if you want a sweeter cookie. This felt less like a dessert and more like a great snack.

Ingredients:

For the cookie dough

  • 2 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 C coconut oil
  • 1/3 C raw honey
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 T unsweetened almond milk

For the fig filling

  • 20 dried figs
  • 1 T raw honey
  • 1/2 T vanilla extract
  • 1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about half a 1 lemon)

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon until well combined.

dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, add the eggs, oil, honey, vanilla, and milk and whisk to combine.

whisked wet ingredients

Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.

well in dry ingredientsStir until the dough has just combined and is still sticky. Be careful not to stir it too much.

stirred dough

Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and set the ball of dough on it, pressing it to form a square.

chilled dough

Seal the plastic wrap around the dough and place it in the refrigerator to chill. It should take about an hour for the dough to become firm.

While the dough chills, add the figs, honey, vanilla extract and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse until a thick paste is formed. You may need to add a few drops of water to get a smooth (but still thick) consistency. Set aside.

figs

fig paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and roll the dough out on a floured surface. You’re aiming for a rectangle about 10” x 20”.

rolled dough

Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough in half, creating two 10”x10” squares.

Use a spoon to spread one half of the dough evenly with the fig paste (fingers work well for spreading, too).

fig paste on dough half

spread fig paste on dough

Carefully lift the other half of the dough and lay it on top of the layer with the fig paste to create a sandwich, with a bottom layer of dough, middle layer of fig paste and top layer.

layered dough

Cut the dough into 16 even squares.

squares

Place on lined baking sheet.

parchment lined baking sheet

Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Transfer the squares to a cooling rack.

baked fig bars

Enjoy!

fig barsA note: I like to store mine in the refrigerator. I think they taste even more like Fig Newtons when cold. Don’t ask me why!

 

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