SIMPLE FIG BARS
6½ tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour (2 tablespoons more later)
½ cup wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
½ pound fig jam
14″ x 10″ cookie sheet
Makes 32 bars. Takes 2 hours 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add butter and brown sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on high until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix with electric beater set on high until light and fluffy.
Add 1 cup flour, wheat flour, baking powder, and salt to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork or whisk until well blended. Gradually add in flour mix from small mixing bowl to egg/sugar mix in large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on high until light and fluffy. Use hands to form a round dough ball. Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or until firm.
Dust 14″ x 10″ flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough ball. Roll out dough ball until it’s ¼” thick. Cut dough along its length into 10″ x 3½” strips. Spread ¼ of the fig jam down the middle of a strip until it’s 1″ wide. Carefully fold both edges of the dough over the fig jam. Pinch seam together to complete fig/dough log. Repeat for each dough strip. Cut each log into 2 shorter mini-logs to make transferring them to the parchment paper easier.
Place parchment paper on cookie sheet. Use spatula to carefully place mini logs seam side down on parchment paper. Use fingers to smooth together any tears in the mini logs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until mini logs turn golden brown and feel slightly firm. Cut each mini log into 4 fig bars. Let cool on cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until slightly warm. Store in airtight container.
1) Be sure to mark your calendar for January 16. That’s International Hot and Spicy Food Day.
2) It’s also National Fig Newton Day.
3) So eat hot-and-spicy food and fig bars on that day (IHSFNFND).
4) You might not want to do anything else.
5) Indeed. The Super Bowl used to held in January, but the prospect of having their biggest game of the year fall on International Hot and Spicy Day AND National Fig Newton Day terrified National Football League Executives. They knew the NFL would lose the match up.
6) This is why recent Super Bowls have been held in February.
7) Baseball, for decades, held its World Series in October for the very same reason.
8) Now, World Series Games spillover into November.
9) November is still two months away from IHSFNFND.
10) But the end of the World Series is getting ever closer to that eventful culinary day, because of ever increasing rounds of post-season play.
11) The World Series might eventually coincide with IHSFNFND. If that happens, television executives will simply throw up their hands and stop broadcasting the Fall Classic. This is something even World War II could not do.
12) This must not happen. Contact your senator. Now.
13) It’s worth noting that fig bars’ existential challenge to professional sports in America derives from their many great attributes.
14) Fig bars are high in fiber. Football and baseball are not.
15) Fig bars have many vitamins. Football and baseball do not.
16) Fig bars have many minerals. Football and baseball do not.
17) Fig bars are a tasty snack. Football and baseball do not.
18) Fig bars help digestion. Football and baseball do not.
19) Indeed, footballs and baseballs are even difficult to eat.
20) Oh crudness, National Fig Week runs from November 1 to November 7. The same time as the World Series. Stock up on fig bars; we live in dark, troubling times.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.