Skinny Figgy Bars
- Yield 16 servings
- 8 ounces dried figs
- 4 ounces pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons slivered or chopped almonds, optional
- 2 drops anise extract, optional
- 4 tablespoons agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup quick oats, uncooked (not instant oatmeal)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
- Preheat the oven to 375º F.
- Snip off the fig stems and put the figs, dates, optional almonds, and 2 tablespoons of water into the food processor. Grind to a coarse paste. Stir in the remaining filling ingredients and one tablespoon of the agave nectar and process until mixed, but don’t puree. Set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in the wet ingredients (only 3 tablespoons of the agave nectar), along with 1/4 cup water. Stir to combine. Press half the crust mixture into the bottom of an oiled, 8-inch square cake pan (use a wooden spoon or your hands).
- Spread the fig mixture evenly over the crust. Smooth the remaining crust mixture over the filling. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
VARIATION: For an optional icing, mix about 3 tablespoons powdered sugar with a little water; start with 1/2 teaspoon until it has a medium-thick consistency. Add vanilla or almond extract to taste (just a few drops). Drizzle or pipe over tops of bars before cutting.
Reprinted with permission from Vegan Holiday Kitchen: More than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions by Nava Atlas, Sterling, 2011