I chose to make these Fig Crumble Bars for Easter because my husband loves Fig Newtons, and these seemed similar. He said they were better.
I don’t really think they were too comparable. These are the cookie version of the fig newton. Where the fig newton is cake and it’s soft, these are crumbly and buttery. These have the fresh flavors of the lemon and the apple juice. The feedback on these bars was great. Everyone loved them.
They were really easy to make. I was afraid that they would be too dry when I made the shortbread part – crumbly is a good word for it. The dough had a hard time holding together. The filling didn’t seem too moist either. But, once I baked them up, they became moist and tasty.
I’d make these again, but, I’m not personally a huge fig bar fan, so I’d only make them if someone asked for them. I wonder what they’d be like with honey or maple syrup rather than sugar. Hmmm…
Fig Crumble Bars
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Makes about 20 bars
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces dried Calimyrna figs (about 1 ½ cups), stems removed
¾ cup apple juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 375° F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan; line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Butter paper; set pan aside.
In a food processor, pulse together 2 cups flour and 1 cup sugar. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer half of mixture to prepared pan; with lightly floured fingers, press firmly into bottom. Set aside. Shape remaining mixture into large, moist clumps; transfer topping to a bowl, and set aside. Wipe food processor bowl clean.
Make filling: In food processor, blend figs, apple juice, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons each flour and sugar until a thick paste forms.
Using a small offset spatula or table knife, spread filling over crust. Sprinkle with topping. Bake until topping is golden brown, 60 to 65 minutes.
Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely. Using paper overhang, lift crumble from pan, and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 20 bars. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 5 days.