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1 h 15 m
“Better than their store-bought cousins, these bars have a richly flavored fig filling, with a little bit of crispness to the crust.”
1 cup packed chopped dried figs, stems removed, (8 ounces)
½ cup water
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting, (optional)
1To make filling: Stir together figs, water, lemon zest, lemon juice and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir over low heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth; set aside to cool to lukewarm.
2To make dough and assemble bars: Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Beat together brown sugar, butter, oil, egg and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until smooth, making sure no lumps of brown sugar remain, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until completely blended. (The dough will be stiff.)
3To shape the dough, line the bottom of an 8-by-12-inch baking dish with a piece of plastic wrap; smooth out any wrinkles. Evenly press one half of the dough into the bottom of the lined dish. If the dough is sticky, smooth it out under another piece of plastic wrap. Pick up the ends of the plastic wrap and lift out the piece of dough.
4Coat the bottom of the same baking dish with cooking spray. Press the remaining half of the dough into the dish. Spread the fig filling on top. Invert the first half of the dough onto the filling and peel away the plastic wrap.
5Bake until the upper crust appears completely baked when pierced in the center with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes.
6Transfer the baking dish to a rack and let cool, covered with a kitchen towel to help soften the top crust. Cut into 15 bars. If desired, dust lightly with confectioners' sugar.
Make Ahead Tip: Store at room temperature in an airtight container.