fresh fig bars.2 007

I was delighted to find 2-pound boxes of fresh black mission figs on sale the other day at Trader Joe’s. I knew exactly what I was going to make with them. Homemade “Fig Newtons.”

This recipe was inspired by many. I adapted the dough from “Fig Pillows” in The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle, but learned how to make fresh fig jam from two fellow bloggers. Thanks to Cozy, Delicious (Homemade Fig Newtons) and Bakin’ and Eggs (Fresh Fig Bars).  I was also hoping to develop a special recipe for my friend Mandy at The Complete Bookbook, who has a fig tree in her yard!

The filling is fun to make and it fills the home with a pleasant scent of honey and cinnamon. The cookies go great with coffee or tea, and the texture even improves the next day. This recipe is linked in to Sweet as Sugar Cookies’ Sweets for Saturday #38. It is an amazing collection of bloggers’ favorite desserts. Check it out!

Fresh Fig Bars (recipe by “Oishii!”)

Ingredients

filling

  • 2 cups fresh chopped figs (12.5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

decoration

  • two tablespoons heavy cream
  • course sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw)

Preparation

Make the fig filling. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add figs, honey, water, and cinnamon sticks. Heat over medium heat until the mixture bubbles and then turn down to very low heat. Barely simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour or until it thickens to consistency of jam. Add more water if necessary. Cool, and if desired, process in a food processor. You will have well over one cup of filling.

Make the dough. Over a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix in the dry ingredients just until a dough forms. Flour your hands (dough will be sticky!) and form into two rectangles. Wrap each in saran wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Assemble and bake. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a heavy-rimmed baking sheet with butter. Prepare two sheets of parchment paper the size of the baking sheet. Lightly flour one rectangle of dough over one sheet of parchment paper. Cover dough with the second sheet of parchment paper and roll out to a size slightly less than the baking sheet. Peel parchment paper off top, flip it over, peel bottom sheet of paper off and place dough onto baking sheet. Evenly spread 1  1/4 cups of fig filling onto dough. Roll out another sheet of dough the same size, and put it on top of the first one covered with fig filling. Crimp ends together. Brush top of dough with heavy cream and sprinkle with course sugar such as Sugar in the Raw. Bake in oven about 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool a bit, cut off ends, and into squares.

Ideas: Try using some of these bars in Cinnamon and Fig Cookies Ice Cream.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to consider: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

Fig season is very short. Do you have any fresh fig recipes to share? If you enjoyed this post, we would love to hear from you! Please leave some feedback in the comments section below. -Michael

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