These Figgin’ Fabulous Fig Bars are a spinoff of the classic Fig Newton Cookie yet in bar form. They’re absolutely delicious and perfect with a tall cold glass of milk!
When your neighbor treats you to a HUGE bag full of figs from her family’s fig tree, you make Figgin’ Fabulous Fig Bars folks!
OMG, my neighbor Lynn dropped by with the most beautiful bag of figs. They were totally gorgeous! I knew just what I was going to make.
The BEST Figgin’ Fabulous Fig Bars
I had been eyeing up a fig bar recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s book called The Perfect Cookie, so there was no better time to give it a go.
And Tom is a HUGE Fig Newton fan, so I knew he’d really enjoy these.
Since the recipe from the Test Kitchen called for dried figs, and I had fresh, I decided to use the fig filling recipe from Bon Appétit’s Homemade Fig Newton Recipe. I had made that filling before and loved it and it worked just perfectly with the dough recipe from ATK.
When the filling cooked down, it came to just about 1 1/2 cups which was just the right amount between the two layers. I had several taste testers and we all agreed.
Figgin’ Fabulous Fig Bars Filling Ingredients
- Black Mission figs
- orange juice
- kosher salt
Figgin’ Fabulous Fig Bars Dough Ingredients
- all-purpose flour
- whole wheat flour
- baking powder
- unsalted butter
- light brown sugar
- vanilla extract
To give these bars a more complex flavor ATK uses whole wheat flour in addition to the all-purpose flour. And making the classic cookie into bars was genius. That way you get to enjoy more of that delicious fig filling.
The filling takes just about 30-35 minutes total to cook down and then you’ll cool it before layering it onto the dough and then topping with the final layer of dough. Bake and then cool for about 2 hours before cutting into squares and enjoying. I cut mine into 9 large squares, but the recipe says you can slice into 16 bars.
These are great for back-to-school season this year. Such a special treat for the kiddo’s lunchboxes! Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Figgin’ Fabulous Fig Bars
Make sure to spray both pieces of your parchment paper when you roll out the top portion of your dough. If you don’t it will be very hard to work with.
You will need to cook your fig mixture until they are very soft and until no liquid remains. This will take about 25-30 minutes over medium heat. Stir occasionally so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of your saucepan. You’ll then break your figs up with a masher or the back of a wooden spoon and continue to cook for 5 minutes until the mixture is paste-like.
I removed my fig mixture from the heat to cool a bit before spreading the mixture on a plate to totally cool in the fridge, uncovered for about an hour.
More Delicious Cookie Bar Recipes to Enjoy
- 2 pints Black Mission figs, stems trimmed and quartered
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 6 Tbsp, honey
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Cook figs, oj, honey, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat, until figs are soft and no liquid remains, about 25–30 minutes, stirring often. Use a potato masher or a large wooden spoon to smash the figs into small pieces. Continue to cook until mixture is very thick, about 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat and spread the jam onto a plate. Chill, uncovered in the fridge for about one hour.
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-6 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture just until combined. Do not overmix. Set aside 3/4 cup of the dough for the topping.
- Transfer the remaining dough to the prepared pan pressing it firmly into a nice even layer. You can use a greased spatula to do this. Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.
- While the dough is baking, roll the reserved 3/4 dough between two sheets of parhcment paper that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Roll into an 8-inch square. Trim as needed. Transfer the dough in the parchment to a baking sheet to the freezer.
- Spread the cooled fig mixture evenly over the crust in your pan. Lay the top crust over the filling, pressing lightly. Bake until the top crust is lightly golden brown, about 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.
- Remove the bars from the oven to a wire rack to cool, about 2 hours. Use the foil overhang to remove the bars from the pan. Cut into squares. Bars can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen The Perfect Cookie and Bon Appétit