The Spencer house didn’t stock store-bought treats. At lunchtime I used to trade my mom’s homemade cookies for oatmeal creme pies. One time I asked for Pop-tarts for Christmas. But every so often Fig Newtons would appear and I thought it was a treat royale.
- 1 cup (1/3 lb.) dried figs (Black Mission or Turkish will do fine)
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 TBSP honey
- 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 TBSP honey
- 1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Turbinado sugar and water
Put figs in a 1- or 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Pour boiling water over figs, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
Prepare your work surface with a baking sheet and two pieces of parchment paper that are about 14″ long. Make sure your baking sheet can fit in your freezer. Cut a 1 1/2″-wide tip off the end of a pastry bag or ziplock bag that can fit your fig filling.
Combine butter and brown sugar in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, honey and vanilla and beat to incorporate, scraping bowl and paddle when needed.
Stir together flour, salt and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and stir on low to combine. Increase speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds, until well incorporated.
Scrape dough onto a sheet of parchment paper about 14″ long. Sandwich with the second piece of parchment and roll out gently so your dough is 10″ wide by 14″ long. You can cut and paste the dough to fill in bare spots if needed. Slide the dough onto a baking sheet and put in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Pour the figs with their water, honey and graham cracker crumbs into the food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape the bowl, and making sure there are no chunks. Scrape into prepared pastry bag or ziplock. Chill in the refrigerator until dough is ready (this can be done ahead of time).
After the dough has chilled, remove from freezer. Trim edges. Cut in half lengthwise so you have two 5″ by 14″ pieces. Separate the pieces- placing each on it’s own piece of parchment.
Pipe a 1 1/2″ thick line of fig filling down the center of each strip of dough. Carefully fold over one side of dough over the filling, then fold again- enveloping the filling in the center, with the seam on the bottom. Repeat with second piece of dough.
Use the parchment paper to lift the uncooked fig bars onto the baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°.
After chilling, remove from freezer. Wet a pastry brush with water and moisten the tops of the bars. Sprinkle liberally with Turbinado sugar. Trim the ends of each log and slice each into 2″ bars. Place on lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until light brown on the bottom.