These dairy- and egg-free homemade fig bars are a sweet treat — a perfect after-school snack. Serve with hot apple cider or cocoa to warm up on crisp fall days!
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon and pinch of salt, divided
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water; let stand 1 minute before using
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 ounces dried black figs, stemmed and quartered
2 cups apple juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing excess to hang over the pan edges. Grease the foil and set pan aside.
Step 2: Beat the applesauce and sugar about 2 minutes.
Step 3: Add the flax seed mixture and vanilla until combined.
Step 4: In a separate small bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
Step 5: Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just incorporated.
Step 6: Place all but ¾ cup of the dough into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until just golden, about 20 minutes.
Step 7: Roll the remaining dough into an 8-inch square between two sheets of greased parchment paper. Place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
Step 8: Cook the figs, apple juice, and the remaining pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and syrupy, 15 to 20 minutes; cool slightly.
Step 9: Process the mixture with the lemon juice in a food processor until jam-like.
Step 10: Spread the fig mixture evenly over the baked crust. Top with the frozen dough and press lightly.
Step 11: Bake until the top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 12: Cool completely. Using the foil overhang, lift bars from pan and cut into squares.