Every year, our wonderful neighbors bring us bags and bags of fresh figs. They are kind enough to pick them for us, despite not really eating them themselves, simply because they know how much we love them. (Yes, I do know how lucky we are to have such awesome neighbors.)
Typically, we dehydrate some of the figs and then turn the rest of the fresh ones into fruit leather for the girls. This year, the fig trees were even more generous than usual and we had enough that I was able to experiment with a few recipes, as well as forcing all of my coworkers to try at least one “No, thank you” bite each of a fig. I was surprised at how many people have never tried a fresh fig, but maybe that’s not really all that crazy.
One thing I made with the figs was a big batch of Fig Jam from Food & Wine; it turned out really well and I think we’ll have no issues using it up within the recommended three months.
Next I wanted to try making some sort of fig cookie or fig bar, but all of the recipes I searched either called for dried figs or used obscene quantities of sugar. So I decided to adapt a recipe for chocolate oatmeal bars that looked decent and make my own Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Fig Bars. This is the first incarnation of this recipe but I think it turned out pretty darn good and I will most likely be making it again very soon, with a maybe one or two tweaks that are outlined after the recipe.
So here’s my recipe for Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Fig Bars:
- 2 1/2 cups oats
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup oil (I used coconut oil but I think vegetable would be fine, too)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 4 oz dark chocolate chips
- 1 heaping cup of chopped fresh figs
How To Make:
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9×13 baking pan with aluminum foil with an overhang and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Put first 10 ingredients (everything but figs and chocolate chips) into a big bowl. Using a hand held mixer or a big spoon, mix up a stiff batter. Fold in chips and figs.
- Press the batter into your prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until done. You don’t want them to be dry as a bone; a little moistness on a knife when you test it isn’t a bad thing.
- Using the foil, remove bars from pan. Let cool before cutting into squares.
Notes from yesterday: I used an 8 x 11.5 inch pan so my bars were very thick and took about 30 minutes to cook. But I think they will be better if they are made in a bigger pan and are thus thinner (which is what the original non-fig recipe called for). Also, I only used 1/2 cup packed brown sugar but I felt like the oatmeal/flour batter was a little underwhelming and only elevated to awesomeness by the chocolate and figs. 3/4 cup of sugar is still less than originally called for and will make a more delicious batter. And I think that if you don’t have fresh figs, cherries would be amazing. That may actually be the next thing I try.
Let me know what you guys think!