Valley Fig Growers

Coconut Fig Bars

As it turns out, you really can have it all—at least in the cookie world. This moist California fig bar cookies recipe features a mélange of flavors and textures that complement one another, and its triangular shape makes it a looker. The base is a layer of buttery shortbread, just thick enough to support the topping. Next comes a chewy, almost candy-like layer that's chock-full of coconut, dried figs, and sweet, earthy toasted pistachios, all formed into a cohesive topping with the help of an egg and a little maple syrup. Vanilla extract gives the topping a warm, round flavor and a pleasing aroma. To keep the coconut fig bars from being cloying, we mixed ½ teaspoon of salt into the topping. And we couldn't resist a crowning touch: We dunked each cookie in complementary white chocolate, which also contributed visual appeal. We prefer white bar chocolate for the purest flavor and smoothest texture. We prefer to make this recipe with Black Mission figs, though golden can be substituted.

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5⅔ ounces) all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed (7¾ ounces) light brown sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces and chilled

1 cup pistachios, toasted

1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and cut into ¼-inch pieces

¾ cup (2¼ ounces) sweetened shredded coconut

1 large egg

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Directions

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Make foil sling for 8-inch square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is 8 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.

2. Pulse 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and butter in food processor until mixture resembles wet sand, about 10 pulses. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press firmly into even layer. Bake until light golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely in pan.

3. Place pistachios in zipper-lock bag and tap them with meat pounder until crushed. Toss figs, coconut, and pistachios together in bowl, breaking up any clumps. Whisk egg, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, remaining 2 tablespoons flour, and remaining 1 cup sugar together in large bowl. Fold in pistachio mixture, then spread evenly over cooled crust.

4. Bake bars until deep golden brown and set, 20 to 25 minutes. Let bars cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using foil overhang, lift bars out of pan. Cut into 9 squares and cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles.

5. Microwave chocolate in small bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 30 to 60 seconds. Dip 1 corner of each triangle in melted chocolate and place on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Refrigerate triangles until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes, before serving.

Recipe and photo by Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen