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« Chicken and Rice--Getting my Goya Groove On. | Main | Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars »

Fig Nut Bars

Fig Nut Bars

Date bars are one of my all time favorite treats.  Some of you may remember when I posted my grandmother’s date nut bar recipe.  If not, have a look.  I’d do anything, or drop whatever I was doing to have some of those when I was a kid.  Come to think of it, I still would--but now I’m the one that makes them. 

So I still have a huge amount of dried figs hanging around, and although eating them straight from the bag is one of the best ways to enjoy them, I felt like I needed to do something else with them.  Yep, you can see where I’m going with this.  Fig Nut Bars!  They adapted beautifully to the date bar recipe, and are insanely good! 

I have yet to find a date nut bar (or fig, for that matter) recipe that can stand up to my grandmother’s recipe.  And trust me when I say this--I’ve tried a lot.  If someone’s got them on the menu, I’m trying them.  I’m always disappointed.  They’re usually hard (maybe they sit around too long?), very dry, too sweet--whatever--just gross.  These bars won’t disappoint.  They’re tender, not overly sweet, slightly salty in the crust, and perfect.  Yes, I’ll go as far as to say these are perfect!  I had to play around with the filling a bit to adapt it to the figs, but I made it work.  For you guys.  Oh, the things I do for this blog. Haha!

Fig  Nut Bars

Fig Nut Bars

makes one 9x13 pan

For the Figgy Filling:
1 lb dried Black Mission figs, stems removed and chopped (I used kitchen shears)
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup water
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

For the Crust:
1 3/4 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1  tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Make the filling: Boil dates, sugar, and water until thick, about 5-10
Note:  You want the final fig mixture to be thick, not leaky--and spreadable, because you have to layer it over the bottom crust.   Also, I chopped the figs into quarters.  They didn't break down as much as I'd hoped, so before stirring the vanilla and pecans in, I ran the fig mixture through the food processor, just enough to break them up--you still want a few chunks in there.

Add 1 TBSP butter, the vanilla, and the walnuts, and set the filling aside to cool a bit.

Prepare the crust: Combine all dry ingredients with the melted butter.  Firmly press half of the mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 pan.

Carefully spread the filling evenly over the bottom crust, to within about a half inch of the edges--a rubber spatula works great for this.  Sprinkle remaining crust over the filling, and again, press firmly--but be gentle at the same time.  Press just enough to give it a good hold on the filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, and I'm serious when I say this, no longer than 25 minutes!  As long as your oven is running at the correct temperature, that's all the time these need.  Cut into squares when cool, and store in an airtight container.

  • Note:  I always get impatient and cut a little corner out to try while they’re still warm. That’s ok!  But it’s so important that you let the bars cool before you cut them, or they’ll probably fall apart.  You need to let that bottom crust cool and set up.

Fig Nut Bars

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Reader Comments (25)

Hehehe your header is so cute!! :)

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

You are crazy! It is not even October yet. Silly ghoul...

BTW - those look FANTASTIC!

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

This is recipe is just up my alley!! I LOVE figs! I can't wait to make these!

Thanks so much!


Heather--I know! But it's cloudy and 59 here--like Fall. Couldn't wait any longer. ;)

September 13, 2010 | Registered CommenterElle

i'm dying these look so amazing! i love figs, and i know these are perfect for fall!

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather (Heather's Dish)

Thank you so much, Heather! I appreciate the nice words. :)

September 13, 2010 | Registered CommenterElle

Thank you, Lisa! They're easy as pie, too. Well, that's silly--because pie isn't easy. These are, haha!

September 13, 2010 | Registered CommenterElle

I love your new page design, just in time for Halloween! Super cute. I would also gladly partake in eating a fig bar, if one were near. They look delicious!

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen Dean

I'm with you Elle, my Mom made a great date nut bar the likes of which I have never had again. Those recipes don't seem too "in" right now but maybe your post today will popularize similar bar desserts. These look delicious, thanks! (My mom made a tart lemon icing for her bars,oh my!!!)

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

I am also a date bar freak!!! My mom used to make them - she is probably about the age of ur grandmom! Like you, I am always SO disappointed when I try one... So I am going straight to your recipe using dates to give it a try! (I will let you know how wonderful they are!!!) And the fig version looks fantastic too! (Luv ur header -- so fun! Can't even comprehend Fall in Texas right now, but we'll get there!)

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUrMomCooks

Mmmmm, these sound and look delicious. Very glad you played around with the recipe for us. :)

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Ray

Fab recipe Elle ... right up my street! Can't wait to try these...

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdeeba

These bars look just amazing! Nicely done!

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim - Liv Life

Oh gurrrrrl, these look so good! I love, love, LOVE your new header!! LOL I've got my Halloween decorations out already, this cooler weather inspired me!

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterApril in CT

Hahahahaha! You just couldn't wait, could you? LOL! You know I love the transition to "Helle's New England Kitchen". :-)

And I love the looks of these bars - better than any fig newton, any day of the week!

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRJ Flamingo

Love those bars!! Look so good!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCherine

Great use for the dried figs! I am going to surprise Matt with these.

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkat

i popped over here to comment on your amped-up fig newtons and got quite a shock--that new header is freaky-awesome. :)

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergrace

These look so good Elle!!!

September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn AKA The Leftover Queen

Hi Elle,

I am becoming a fan of yours. You had me just with the name of your blog. Love your recipe collection. This figgy nut bar is outstanding. I am craving to have a bite now.
Looking forward to stay in touch with you.


September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRadhika

You had me at "figgy filling." I'm going to get someone else to make these, and then I'm going to chow down.

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Beautiful bars! I love homemade fig bars, and these looks stellar. Oh, and I love your blog-too cute;)

September 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStella

These fig bars look delicious but my heart jumped when I saw the link for Date Bars. I have to go take a look! Nice fig bars tho, but my heart belongs to Dates. :)

September 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermegan

I have been saving this recipe since you posted it and FINALLY got around to making them, except I used Turkish fig paste - just warmed up a jar of it in the microwave to soften it and added the nuts and vanilla.

It is GLORIOUS. I'm definitely going to revisit the recipe with some other flavors - apple butter for sure, maybe guava, orange marmalade... lots of possibilities!

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

I agree that figs are best eaten as is, but this bar recipe has me intrigued. I will definitely be trying these!

December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerbivore Triathlete

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