Fig Jam Bars

Fig Jam Bars

I’ve always liked the oat and fig flavor combination of Fig Newtons (or similar knock-offs), as the subtly nutty oat flavor goes very well with the rich, sticky sweetness of the fig filling. The texture of the cake-like cookies is not always ideal, however. It might just be a freshness issue, but I never liked getting a batch of fig newtons were the edges were hard or tough and took away from the otherwise soft chewiness of the cookie.

I used the same flavor combination in these Fig Jam Bars, which are a bar cookie and not individually sliced as Fig Newtons are. The tender dough reminds me of a very soft shortbread, because it has a rich buttery flavor in addition to the flavor of oats, and pretty much melts in your mouth as you chew. Oat flour is sold in many grocery stores, and is easily available at Whole Foods and other health food-type markets. All it really is is oats that are ground to have the consistency of flour. You can make it yourself by whizzing rolled or quick-cooking oats in the food processor until they are very finely ground.

I used fig jam as the fig filling, which is very convenient. I’ve seen some fig bar recipes in the past that have you rehydrating dried figs, cooking them with sugar and pureeing them before using them in the recipe, and while I’m sure it’s good, it’s a little too time consuming for me. I find fig jam at farmers markets and at most grocery/specialty stores, but you can also make your own at home with fresh figs, if you find yourself with a surplus of fruit. I used Mountain Fruit Co.’s The Fig Galaxy – Black Mission Fig Jam for my bars.

Fig Jam Bars
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup oat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup fig jam

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut softened butter into large chunks and blend into flour mixture using a mixer on low speed (or by hand with a fork) until mixture resembles wet sand and no large pieces of butter remain.
Add in egg yolk, molasses and vanilla and mix until a sticky dough forms.
Set aside 3/4 cup of dough.
Press remaining dough into an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Spread fig jam evenly over the layer, leaving a small gap around the edges of the pan. Break up remaining dough with your fingers and spread it over the fig jam layer.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until bars begin to turn golden around the edges.
Cool completely in the pan before slicing.

Makes 25 bars.

17 comments

  1. I love fig newtons!
    How clever is this recipe. I love this. Fig and crumb, a bit of healthy with a treat.

  2. I still have a little fig jam left over from last year’s supply and this would make a great use for it. Looks great.

  3. Fig Newtons are one of my faves, but I’m totally with you on the stale edges displeasure. Nothing disappoints me more than when I forget I’ve got an open package and return to it weeks later–I end up tossing the remainder. This recipe looks fabulous. Something tells me it wouldn’t last for weeks, though ;)

  4. I love fig. I am sure these bars are delicious.
    Iffet

  5. Debbie – More like days, not weeks!

  6. Nicole, these look terrific. I also have fig jam left from last summer (oh no, it’s almost fig season again!) and have been thinking about what to do with them. I tried using fig jam in a peanut butter and jam bar like this, but the fig jam was too sweet – that recipe would have been better with a berry. Can’t wait to try this.

  7. These look outstanding. I love when you can just taste what the photo looks like. I am going to Greece this summer and cannot wait to get my mouth on some fresh juicy figs!

  8. These look fantastic and like the ultimate replacement for store bought Fig Newtons.

  9. these look so good. I love figs :)

  10. fig newtons are the best,and you are awesome. :)

  11. Off to hopefully find some ready-made fig jam! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  12. These bars look great. I’m such a fan of fig. The touch of oat and molasses sounds like a perfect combination. Yum!

  13. i’d love to try these.. only with a different jam as we’re not really fig people.
    btw i laughed out loud when i read the name ‘fig jam bars’. i don’t know if you’ve heard the song by butterfingers? no?

  14. Those look great! I love your bars they are always so creative. Please check out my blog, still a baby but growing!

  15. I tried this recipe two days ago and those bars are simply delicious. My family devoured it in a flash. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough fig jam left to make one more batch on this cold and rainy sunday, but I think I’ll try a combination of fig jam and orange marmelade…

  16. These are absolutely wonderful. My dh says way better than fig newtons. I don’t think I will make them often as they are too hard to resist. Thanks so much

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