Congratulations to Debra D. for winning second prize in the 2015 Bella Viva Recipe Contest! Her sweet and salty fig bars were delicious. We enjoyed the unique blend of flavors and the buttery rich taste. The beauty of this recipe is you can mix and match any dried fruit and nuts, such as: raisins, dates, prunes, apricots or cherries.
¾ cup dried figs
¾ cup water
½ cup butter (coconut oil might work, haven’t tested yet)
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ cup blanched almond flour
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup chopped walnuts (or more)
sea salt or Himalayan salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the filling, remove the stems from the figs and chop into small pieces. Put them in a saucepan with the water over low heat. Stir frequently, mashing the fig pieces to break them up. Cook down until the figs have absorbed all the water and it turns into a paste. Leave it chunky or make it smooth, as you like.
For the cookie base, melt the butter in a large sauce pan, then set it aside for about 5 minutes to cool. Then add the coconut sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the vanilla, almond flour and baking soda and stir until mixed.
To assemble, place the cookie base in an 8×8 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Pat it down with your fingers until is covers the entire pan. Then top with the fig paste and spread it around to cover the cookie base. Sprinkle walnuts on top and press them into the fig paste. Lastly, sprinkle salt to taste.
Bake for 45 minutes. Allow bars to cool in the pan and then cut into 16 pieces.