Figgy Bars? Not pudding! I have been wanting fig newtons for a while, but I haven't been able to find one that is whole wheat, no refined sugars, or additives. I actually did find one by Barbara's Bakery brand of products, but in one of my cookbooks there is a recipe for whole wheat fig bars that I wanted to try to make before I go and buy a snack that I could very well just make myself. I am all for home baked goods above store bought. This way you know exactly what is in it, the quality, and you can always tweak it to you taste. What could be better than that? Don't get me wrong, there are times where you do not have the time, ingredients, or patience to do it yourself, so go right ahead and buy whatever you like. Till then, I will make what I can!
I just made a few changes to the recipe, from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I did not have black mission figs, instead I used Trader Joe's Turkish Figs and reduced the filling amount because I didn't have the necessary 16 ounces (1 pound) of figs, I only had 10 ounces, so I made it work. (Tim Gunn!)
Whole Wheat Figgy Bars
10 ounces dried figs, hard steams removed, diced into small pieces
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)
2 teaspoons finely grated citrus zest
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/4 cup nondairy milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup date sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Line an 8x8 inch square pan with foil, then spray with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large sauce pan , combine the figs, water, syrup, and zest. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce to a simmer, and stir occasionally. When the figs begin to soften, in about 8 to 10 minutes, continue to cook but mash the figs to create a chunky, moist paste.
If the mixture starts to look dry add in small amounts of water and stir. Remove from the heat and set aside.
If the mixture is still too chunky, place in food processor until a smooth mixture is reached.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flax seeds, milk, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, mixing for about 1 1/2 minutes.
Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Stir until a soft dough forms. Divide into two equal parts. Shape each section into a square shape, so that it will be easier to roll out.
Place one square between two sheets of parchment paper.
Roll out to the dough until it becomes slightly larger than the 8x8 pan, rotate as you roll so it stays an even thickness.
Peel off the top layer of wax paper and flip the dough into the pan and press into the pan so that it is slightly up the edges of the pan. Roll out the other half of the dough.
Top bottom layer with the filling,
then press the top layer over the filling.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and puffed.
Place pan on a wire rack to cool. When it is completely cool, take out of the pan by grabbing the foil. Remove the foil, and cut into bars. Store in a tightly covered container.
I like them, but next time I will try to use black mission figs, but they do taste like fig newtons, and they have the same crunch from the seeds that regular fig newtons do. When I was eating them the other night, my mom had to stop the show we were watching because of the crunching and she asked what are you eating? Figgy bars momma!
Remember I had mentioned the rye bread bake that I made, well it came out great. Actually better than I expected. I ate it with fresh grape tomatoes to try to simulate a sauce, but maybe a roasted red pepper sauce or a tomato sauce will be nice with it.