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!
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.
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 sauce pan. 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.