Fig Layer Bars

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Fig Layer Bars

I had some leftover dried figs – Golden and Mission – left over from my gift from the nice folks at California Figs – so I decided to try one of their recipes for fig layer bars.

When Larry reminded me that his favorite childhood cookie was a fig newton, I thought he would enjoy a batch of these goodies. Despite a hot, muggy Labor Day, I cranked up the oven, turned on the fans and whipped up this batch in no time at all…

I added cinnamon, used good Irish butter and opened a new bag of dark brown sugar. Because I wanted the fig filling to really stand out, I used 12 rather than 8 ounces of dried figs.

This recipe makes a lot of crust/topping, so I made a deeper crust, reserving less for topping. (I also cut back a bit on the flour.)

TIP: I opted to use a smaller baking dish, my 7 1/2 X 12-inch, to allow a thicker layer of fig filling.

Fig Layer Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 large bars, or 24 small bars
A classic fruit layer bar that highlights rich fig filling.
  • Filling:
  • 12 ounces dried figs, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ walnuts, chopped
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Crust/Topping:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1¾ cups rolled oats
  • 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • cinnamon for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the fig filling, use a medium-sized saucepan and combine the figs, sugar, walnuts, water and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar has melted and filling slightly thickened, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  3. For the crust/topping, use either a standing or hand-held mixer and cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla,cinnamon, salt, rolled oats and flour. Mix until just blended.
  4. Butter a glass baking dish, either a 7½ X 12-inch or 9 X 13-inch, and pat ⅔ of the crust mixture into the bottom of it.
  5. Spread the fig filling evenly over the crust.
  6. Using your fingers, drop small crumbles of topping over the filling. Sprinkle with a final dusting of cinnamon.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes until topping has turned light brown. Cool before cutting into bars.


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17 Responses to Fig Layer Bars

  1. sippitysup September 6, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    How is I am just hearing about this Fig Fest thing? I’ve been having a fig fest of my own. 5 fig posts in 2 weeks or something like that. I’m Big on Fig! GREG

    • Liz September 6, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Hi Greg, I noticed all your fig posts and assumed you were coming – this Sunday here in SD 4-7 at SD County Market.

  2. Kim September 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I love what you did with this recipe, Liz. I have a similar “bar” recipe for other fruits. At the moment, my goal is to use up the fresh figs I have, so I’m wondering if I can make fig jam first, and then put it into a bar?! This may end up being my project for tomorrow. 🙂


    • Liz September 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      Fig jam is supposed to be pretty easy – good luck, Kim.

  3. Beth (OMG! Yummy) September 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Just bought some amazing dried figs at the market – this looks like a really fun way to use them. Great changes Liz!

    • Liz September 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      I will bet you have put your special touch on my recipe –

  4. Jayne September 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Your fig fest sounds a lot of fun! You have done the California fig people proud with your fig recipes Liz!

    • Liz September 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      The event is Sunday – to tell the truth, I hadn’t realized how much I like figs – fresh and/or dried.

  5. Lynda - TasteFood September 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    I spotted these on facebook and have eagerly been awaiting this post with the recipe.

    • Liz September 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      Larry ate a whole batch….

  6. Kim September 9, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Reporting back because I made your fig layer bars! Only made a couple of modifications to to accommodate what I had lying around, but it was DELICIOUS. Barry and the kids ate all the squares over the weekend, and there’s none left for me. I’ll post my version when I get a chance. Thank you!


    • Liz September 9, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      Love that you made them, Kim, and I bet your version was tastier XO

  7. Laura @ Family Spice September 11, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Oh, much better than a Fig Newton! I would have preferred your fig bars over some of the fig desserts I sampled at the fig fest.

  8. colleen @ foodietots September 14, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    These look like the perfect baking project for my kids now that our fig tree’s fruit is finally ripe for picking! Will check out the others from the round-up, too.

  9. Oui, Chef September 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    Like Fig Newtons only better, much, much better!

  10. momofnine October 15, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    Your fig bars look and sound terrific. They remind me of a bar cookie my mother made every Christmas. I am looking forward to trying your recipe. Thank you.

    • Liz October 15, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      I hope you try them, Kathy –

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