Fig Bars with Oats and Walnuts

Fig bars with oats and walnuts make a delicious and healthy snack, dessert, or any-time treat. | mjbakesalot.com

Happy New Year to everyone!  I’ve been baking a lot for the past few weeks but you haven’t seen any posts from me because I was always in too much of a hurry to take photos.  I’m starting 2017 with this favorite (and healthy-ish) recipe of mine for fig bars with oats and walnuts.

When I saw a display of dried figs recently, I remembered the date bars that my Mom used to make when I was growing up.  I was crazy about the crust and the crumbly topping that she made with butter, brown sugar, and rolled oats.  But I only tolerated the date filling that was too sweet for my tastes, and I didn’t care for the texture of the dates.  So I added those dried figs to my grocery cart and brought them home to use them in an updated version of my Mom’s bars.  And since I have a large bag of walnuts in the freezer, I included some of those, too.

Dried Calimyrna figs for fig bars with oats and walnuts | mjbakesalot.com
Soft, sweet, and golden dried Calimyrna figs.

Preparation of the figs is really easy; I just cut off the stem from each of the figs, quartered them, and pulsed them in the food processor until they were finely chopped.

Chopped calimyrna figs to make the figgy filling for fig bars with oats and walnuts jbakesalot.com
After I quartered them, the food processor quickly reduced the dried figs to tiny pieces.

I put the chopped figs into a heavy 3 quart saucepan with a pinch of kosher salt and added some water, then stirred constantly and cooked them over medium high heat for about 10 minutes until they turned into lovely jam that I poured into a shallow bowl and set aside to cool a bit.

The completed figgy filling for fig bars with oats and walnuts . | mjbakesalot.com
The finely chopped dried figs took just a few minutes to cook down into a jam for the filling.

Next, I stirred together the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients–except the nuts–into a fairly large mixing bowl, then poured the melted and cooled butter over it all and stirred until everything was evenly distributed.  (Actually, I used my hands to do it, which was kind of fun!)

After the holiday baking I’d been doing in recent weeks, I was out of all-purpose flour, so I used bread flour in the crust, which worked just fine.  These bars will also be great made with white whole wheat flour.

Rolled oats, butter, and brown sugar form the crust and topping for fig bars with oats and walnuts. | mjbakesalot.com
The ingredients are simply stirred together for the super easy but oh-so-delicious crust and crumb topping.

About 2/3 of the crumb mixture went into a prepared 9″X13″ pan then I patted it down to make a crust.

Pat a portion of the crumb mixture into the pan for the crust of fig bars with oats and walnuts. | mjbakesalot.com
Pat 2/3 of the crumb mixture into the pan to form the crust.

I spread the filling over the crust, then mixed the chopped walnuts into the remaining crumb mixture and evenly distributed it all over the filling and gently patted it down.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of those steps…but here’s how it looked after baking for about 30 minutes at 375° F, all golden brown around the edges and lightly brown on the rest of the top.

Golden brown, crunchy, crumbly fig bars with oats and walnuts. | mjbakesalot.com
Perfectly baked, golden brown all over and almost ready to eat; it’s hard to wait for them to cool!

And here it is with a glass of cold milk.  Yummy!

Fig bars with oats and walnuts are a crunchy, crumbly, oh-so-delicious and healthy snack, dessert, or any-time treat. | mjbakesalot.com
Crunchy, jammy, crumbly, golden brown deliciousness!

Try fig bars with oats and walnuts for an afternoon snack, for dessert, or for breakfast!

Fig bars with oats and walnuts are a delicious and healthy snack, dessert, or any-time treat. | mjbakesalot.com
You’re going to love the buttery, crunchy crust and figgy filling of these bars.

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Thanks, and bon appetit!

Fig Bars with Oats and Walnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Any dried figs from California are great in this recipe, whether they're Calimyrna or Mission figs.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies and Bars
Cuisine: American
Yield: 20
Ingredients
Filling
  • 16 oz (254 grams) dried figs
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups (12 fluid oz, 354 ml) water
Crust and Topping
  • 1 cup (7-1/2 oz, 210 grams) packed brown sugar or organic cane sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups (7-1/2 oz, 210 grams) all-purpose flour or bread flour, or (7oz) white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups (5-1/4 oz, 150 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz, 170 grams) salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz, 85 grams) walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F; grease or use non-stick spray on the bottom and sides of a 9"X13" pan.
  2. Cut the stems off the figs, then quarter the figs and put them into the bowl of a food processor; process until the figs are finely chopped.
  3. Put the figs, a pinch of kosher salt, and the water into a 3-quart saucepan.
  4. Stir constantly while cooking over medium high heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Pour into a shallow heat-proof bowl and set aside to cool a bit.
  6. In large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and oats, then pour the melted butter over and stir (or mix with your hands) just until crumbly.
  7. Press 2/3 of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  8. Spread the cooled fig filling over the crust.
  9. Combine the chopped walnuts with the remaining crumb mixture and sprinkle it over the filling; pressing lightly.
  10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
  11. Cool 15 minutes in the pan set on a cooling rack, cut while still warm.
  12. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
All-purpose flour, bread flour, and white whole wheat flour will all work in this recipe.

 

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