Homemade Orange Fig Bars
"You haven't tried fig newtons until you've tried the homemade, grain free kind. They're nowhere near as difficult and labor-intensive as I know you are assuming they are right now. I promise! See for yourself!"
-- @nora_acleanbake


1 cup dried figs, quartered, stem removed
2 Tablespoons orange zest
1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice 
1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch fine sea salt

1 cup blanched almond flour
Scant 1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch (flour)
1 Tablespoon granulated monk fruit sweetener (Norbu) or granulated stevia (Natvia)
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a standard baking pan with parchment paper or a nonstick pad and set aside.

For the filling, pulse the figs a few times in the food processor to roughly chop and then add the remaining filling ingredients. Puree into a chunky paste. Stop and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. Transfer the filling to a small bowl and set side. Wash and dry the food processor.

For the crust, pulse the almond, flours, sweetener, and salt together several times to combine. Add egg, process for a few seconds to combine, and then add the butter. Process until the dough comes together into a ball. You shouldn't be able to see any large clumps of butter left in the dough.

Work quickly as the dough dries out very quickly. Divide the dough in half and gather each half into a ball. Place one ball of dough on a piece of wax paper, cover with another piece of wax paper, and roll out into a rectangle (dough should be about 1/2 cm thick). Slice the rectangle in half lengthwise to form two long strips.

Divide the filling into four equal portions and spread one portion along the length of each of the two strips of dough (set aside the other two portions of filling for the moment), leaving about a 1/2" border of dough.
Pick up the wax paper and use it to gently fold each strip of dough over onto itself, forming two filled logs. Gently press the edges together to seal each log and then carefully transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Flatten each slightly with the heel of your hand. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling. You should have a total of four logs.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the logs are slightly golden around the edges. Let cool until they are comfortable enough to handle, then cut into 1 1/2" - 2" slices and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. 

Notes: If your figs are too soft to squish easily between your fingertips, you may want to soak them in hot water for a couple of minutes until they're softened. That way, it won't strain your food processor unnecessarily.
If you don't have pumpkin pie spice handy, replace it with cinnamon.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or in the freezer for up to three months.

Note that the texture when they're right out of the oven will be slightly flaky, but as soon as you store them, the moisture redistributes slightly and they become more cakey, like packaged fig newtons. Either way, they're still good!

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