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Fig Bars

  • Yield: Makes 48 one-inch bars

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June/July


  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, 1 lightly beaten for sealing dough
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, cut into four 1-inch strips
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 24 ounces dried black mission figlets, stems trimmed
  • 1/4 cup Cognac
  • 2 cups water


  1. Make the cookie dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the vanilla, and salt together until smooth. Add 1 egg and egg yolk, beating to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add flour gradually, and continue beating until just blended. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, and shape into a rectangle. Wrap the dough well. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.

  2. Make the filling: In a shallow, medium saucepan, combine lemon rind, cinnamon stick, figlets, cognac, 1 cup sugar, and 2 cups water over medium–high heat. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low; simmer until the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lemon rind and cinnamon stick, and let cool.

  3. Place fig mixture in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds.

  4. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator, and divide in half. On a parchment–lined work surface that has been lightly floured, roll one half of the dough into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Trim the dough to 9 by 12 inches with a pizza wheel or a knife. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into three strips, 3 by 12 inches. If the dough becomes soft, it may be necessary to chill it again.

  5. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a #8 or #808 plain tip. Pipe the filling down the center of each strip. Brush beaten egg along one of the 12–inch sides of dough. Fold dough over fig filling to enclose, pressing gently to seal. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cookies until light golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. When completely cooled, transfer to a cutting board, and cut each log into eight 1 1/2–inch cookies with a serrated knife.


Reviews (4)

  • maggienorris 18 Aug, 2014

    I was really looking forward to doing this recipe, but was disappointed in the dough. It was way too soft. It could only be out of the refrigerator for a few minutes before it was unworkable and had to be re-chilled. This added a lot of extra time to the recipe.
    On the upside, the filling was great (although it could have been cut in half). The end result was not aesthetically pleasing, but they did taste good.

  • edu 23 Feb, 2011

    here in colombian It is dificult to find dried fig, how can I replace them?

  • ginabe 22 Oct, 2010

    I was excited to make these, but disappointed in the dough, which ended up being too soft and buttery. The fig filling tastes great, but needed to simmer much longer than a half hour to reduce. Usually Martha's recipes don't need to be tweaked, but I think this one does.

  • Bakinggram 26 Feb, 2009

    These bars are missing mention of salt in ingredients list. There is not enough flour in recipe........Martha!!!!!!

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