10.07.2010

Recipe Box: Raspberry Fig Bars

raspberry fig bars

Hello! Here is my latest accompaniment to a tall glass of milk. I love these fig bars for thousands of reasons. For one thing, these guys pack in more protein, fiber and whole grain goodness, without the extra sugar, sodium and mystery ingredients found in a conventional newton. The filling is naturally sweetened with figs, dates, raspberries and orange juice and the pastry is chewy and substantial, spiked with honey. Not to mention, I love to make them - zesting oranges, chopping walnuts, rolling out pastry dough - all the best fun baking offers. You're elbows deep the throws of cookery, covered in flour probably, with a simmering pot of richly spiced fruit. Paired with a cool autumn breeze flowing through the kitchen window, this is a picture of my perfect Sunday afternoon. The whole process is concentrated with so much old fashioned, feel-good crap, you might come out a different person. someone quaint and good who whistles tunes or whittles wood.

Dough:
2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup oats
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup black strap molasses
1 1/2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces
4 eggs


Filling:
1 1/2 cups dried figs
1/2 cup dried dates, pitted
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
zest of 1 small orange

How:
Place walnuts and oats in food processor and give them a good buzz until the mixture becomes a coarse meal. In a large bowl, combine the oat/nut mixture with remaining dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter pieces until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk together 3 eggs. Add eggs, honey and molasses and combine. Work the dough with your hands, kneading gently, until the dough comes together. Form into two balls and pat into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

While your dough is chilling, begin making the filling by removing any stems or woody nubs from the figs. Place figs and dates in food processor and blend to form a thick paste. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine paste and remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally. As the berries begin to fall apart, mash them with the back of a spoon and stir to incorporate. When the orange juice is absorbed and the filling becomes thick, remove from heat and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with one dough disk at a time, roll out on a floured surface. Shape into a rectangle, about 1/8" thick and 6" wide. Cut the dough lengthwise into two 3" wide strips. Make an egg wash by stirring together remaining egg and 2 tsp water. Paint around the edges of each strip with egg wash. Spoon the fig filling down the center of each strip and then fold the dough over to enclose the filling, pressing lightly. Place pastries, seam side down on cookie sheets lined with parchment. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with a few oats for decoration (optional). Bake until slightly brown, about 15 minutes. Cool and slice into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Wholesome chronic.
P.S: These taste even better the next day.

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