The floral perfume of fresh figs permeates these lightly cakey, soft ‘n’ sweet squares.
TEXAS FIG BLONDIES makes one 9″ X 13″ panful
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter. Organic Valley’s my choice here. Click for $1 OFF coupon.
- 210 grams (1 cup) light brown sugar. I use Central Market organics, 2# bag for $2.99.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda. Press through a fine-meshed sieve to eliminate lumps.
- 2 eggs, local.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 112 grams (scant 1 cup) organic whole wheat flour. I like a blend of white whole wheat and regular whole wheat for these squares. Lately I’m finding the best prices on flour at Whole Foods.
- 1 heaping cup fresh, ripe Teaxs figs, about 5 1/2 ounces.
- 1 heaping cup coarsely chopped toasted Texas pecans. Near the end of the month, we will find ourselves in pecan season again. Nuts of all kinds store just fine in the freezer, so load up when you find a deal.
For the greatest ease in unmolding these bars, line your 9″ X 13″ baking pan with foil as described in Texas Fig Brownies. Grease the foil. Figs being sticky, I recommend Spectrum baking spray (with flour added) or just dusting your oiled foil with flour. You’ll be baking these beauties in a 350º oven, so get it warmed up.
Beat together the butter, sugar, salt and baking soda until well-combined. I use my stand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in the flour(s), figs and pecans. Spread batter into the prepared pan as evenly as you can.
Bake until golden brown and the surface in the middle feels set to the touch, about 22 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan on a rack for about 20 minutes—if you can stand it. Cut into squares, sized as you please.
THE RAPTURE makes one 4″ X 4″ X 9″ cake
For a sumptuously scrumptious dessert, carefully lift the whole bar from the pan, using the foil. Lay a cooling rack on top of the rectangle, invert the whole thing, and cautiously peel away the foil. Cut the big cookie into three even rectangles (from one 13″ side to the other—your pieces will measure approximately 4″ X 9″). Whoop up to almost firm peaks 1 3/4 to 2 cups heavy whipping cream (you can use up to half creme fraiche) with a splash of vanilla extract and a little honey to taste (not too sweet though, figs are honeyed enough). Spread each fig bar layer with about 2/3 cup whoop cream and stack them like a (rectangular) cake. Frost the assembled cake all over with the remaining cream and serve right away. Refrigerate leftovers.
Ah, the fragrant fig.