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Recipe of the Week: Fig-Ginger Bars

August 1, 2018
By LORETTA PAGANINI , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

If you love Fig Newton cookies, you will love these easy to prepare fig bars. A scrumptious bar cookie that is a perfect accompaniment to your cup of coffee or tea. I use them as a delicious snack to fuel my energy all through the day. Serves eight. (Chef tip: Be careful not to overwork the shortbread crust or it will become tough.)

Shortbread dough crust:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Article Photos

Loretta Paganini

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

Orange juice, if needed

Fig filling:

2 cups dried Mission figs

1 cup orange juice

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon salt

To prepare jam, remove stems from figs. Place figs and juice in a food processor; process until figs are coarsely chopped. Place fig mixture, water, ginger and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15-20 minutes or until thick. Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in center of oven. Butter and line a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and vanilla sugar and pulse until dough mixture comes together. Add a bit of orange juice if needed to bring dough together. Remove from food processor and cut dough into two pieces, one a little bigger than the other. Chill the larger piece for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Place the smaller one into the freezer.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator only, and on a lightly floured surface, roll it to about 1/4-inch thick. Place into the baking dish so that it goes all the way up the sides of the dish. Prick dough with a fork and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just beginning to dry out. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.

Once cooled, fill dough with fig jam. Remove dough from the freezer and using the larger holes on a box grater, grate the dough over top of the fig jam. Press dough topping gently into fig jam. Return pan to the oven and bake until light golden brown on top, about 25-30 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.



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