I don't know about you, but I grew up loving Fig Newtons. They almost seemed healthy... until you read the ingredients! This fig bar recipe is really tasty, and it can be tweaked to accommodate your favorite fruity center. Add jam or apple butter to the filling for an extra fruity punch. I would recommend though, before experimenting with other fruits that you use figs as a base for the filling and add in other fruits conservatively. I'm thinking about making a cranberry-blueberry version of these with dried fruit... update soon! Also, this recipe calls for dried figs. I have yet to work with fresh figs, but I am most certain this recipe could be adapted to accommodate them.
All three of my kids loved these, which says a lot. My boys don't generally like figs on their own, but when wrapped in what could be described as (healthy) pie crust, well, they just couldn't resist!
This recipe has no refined sugars, which is especially helpful at this time of year when you may be tempted to eat sweets around the holidays. Refined sugars are directly linked to lowered immune function, so it's worth a second thought before eating anything with sugar.
I have yet to experiment with a gluten free version of this, but I'm assuming almond flour or any other gluten-free flour would work well. For a vegan option, I would use an egg substitute, like applesauce. I also used coconut oil instead of butter, but if you prefer that buttery flavor in your baked goods, substitute!
- 15 Dried Figs, soaked in water overnight
- 1 TBS Maple syrup or honey (optional)
- Soak the figs in water overnight. (You can always skip this step and add a LITTLE bit of water when grinding the figs. Avoid adding too much water when blending.
- Preheat the over to 350
- Using a food processor or blender, grind the figs with about 1 Tbs of maple syrup into a paste and set aside.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Do not over mix.
- Gather into a dough ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for about an hour for firming.
- After firming, roll dough onto floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangular shape.
- Spread fig paste on half of the dough.
- Gently fold the half without the fig paste over the other and cut into 2x2 squares.
- Very carefully scoop the individual bars with a pastry scraper or spatula and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake 12-15 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack and enjoy. These go especially well with homemade Chai... recipe to come soon!
I recommend refrigerating these for maximum shelf life.