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  Fig Bars


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1 pound dried figs, coarsely chopped                        water to cover
1/2 cup orange liqueur                                           1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup flour                                                             1 cup regular oatmeal
1/2 cup dark brown sugar                                       4 Tablespoons softened butter

     Place chopped figs in a saucepan and cover with water. Add orange liqueur and vanilla
bean. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour or until figs are tender.
Remove vanilla bean. Puree fig mixture, return to saucepan and cook until thick. When thick,
remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
     In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oatmeal and sugar. Stir well and add a dash of salt if
your butter is unsalted. Work in butter with your fingertips until small clumps the size of peas
form. Set aside.
     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a square baking pan—either 8 or 9 inch. Press 2/3
of the flour mixture into the pan to form the bottom crust. Be sure the edges are even and the
corners are filled. Use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to press the crumbly mixture into
a compact crust. Carefully spoon fig mixture into an even layer onto bottom crust. Smooth into
place using the back of a spoon or fork. Top with remaining flour mixture to form a crumb topping.
The crumbs will not completely cover the figs, but will form a lacy cover for the tops of the bars.
     Bake 25-30 minutes, until very lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting.
     Makes 24 bar cookies.

Copyright © 2010 Stefanie Samara Hamblen