Fig Crumble Oatmeal Bars
Did you guys grow up with Fig Newtons? I did - and I loved those cookies. The outer cookie part was the best - I used to snap off the curved sides of the cookie, eat those little "crusts" first, then pinch apart the rest of the figgy part before I ate it. Okay, probably not good table manners, but you know how people have a specific way that they'll eat an Oreo? We weren't allowed to have Oreos (another blog post entirely), so Fig Newtons were my cookie of choice. Last night I found out something horrifying - The Mr. didn't try an actual Fig Newton until far too late in life (we're talking college) - and he didn't like it. Quelle horreur! But get this - he'd had Newtons before, just not the fig variety. What the?! He'd had apple Newtons, cherry, even blueberry (none of which appear to exist anymore) - but no fig. I find this odd. And apparently the big guns over at Nabisco gave up on the whole "fig" appeal anyway. I know some people aren't huge fans of figs - I grew up on them, so I've always loved them - we had a green fig tree in the backyard and I used to eat figs right off the tree. But fig is the original Newton flavor, right? In any case, I actually think Fig Newmans have it all over the Fig Newton, but then again how can you resist a cookie with Paul Newman's face on the package? BUT! Back to the point - my husband doesn't like Fig Newtons, so I had to find a way to change his mind. I bought some dried black mission figs last week and as I walked past the aisle with the jams/jellies, I saw fig butter. Like apple butter - but figs! It's basically just really thick fig preserves, and it's unbelievably delicious (oh, did I mention I bought it? I did). So...fig butter, dried figs...it's time to make some fig cookies. I thumbed through some old recipes in my binder and decided to do a sort of oatmeal crumble bar layered with the fig butter, and add in some chopped figs, almonds, and cardamom. And the result? AWESOME. It's like a healthier, crumblier version of a Fig Newton! A Fig Jessica, perhaps? In any case I think The Mr. only got a few of these because I devoured them pretty quickly. Theyr'e nostalgic and yummy and more wholesome than store-bought!
Fig Crumble Oatmeal Bars
inspired by Whole Foods
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup dried black mission figs, roughly chopped
- 5 Tbsp coconut oil
- 5 Tbsp freshly squeezed (or just really high-quality) orange juice
- 1/2 cup fig butter
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly mist an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray or gently grease with a tiny bit of coconut oil.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, almonds, and figs. Add oil and 3 Tbsp of the orange juice, mixing well with a spatula until fully combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of the oat mixture and gently press the rest of it into your prepared baking dish.
- Mix the remaining 2 Tbsp orange juice with the fig butter in a small bowl. Spread this evenly over the oat mixture in the pan. Sprinkle the reserved oat mixture over the fig butter, gently pressing the crumbs down with your fingertips.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack before slicing into 16 bars. These can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.