Fig Blondie Bars. No Added Oil. (I Wish You A Merry Christmas)

Oil-free Fig Bars by Unrefined VeganOil-free Fig Bars by Unrefined Vegan

As I am writing this post, a traditional English Christmas pudding is steaming within the moist and toasty confines of my Instant Pot. Once it is cooked and cooled, I will tenderly wrap it in fresh foil and a kitchen towel, and tuck it away in a cool, dark place. In the few short days before Christmas, I will “feed” the thirsty pudding with a little Kentucky bourbon and look forward to the dessert’s unveiling on Christmas Day, perhaps with a little ice cream. I had no intention of making a traditional English Christmas pudding until I looked into the origins of the 19th Century song, We Wish You A Merry Christmas. That’s when visions of dates, currants, raisins, and dry sherry began dancing in my head. 

We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy New Year.
Good tidings we bring
To you and your kin;
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy New Year.

While seemingly a sweet and entertaining way to go about asking for some edible handouts during the holiday season, I’ve always found the song vaguely threatening. It first takes on a demanding tone: now bring us some figgy pudding – quickly followed by downright menace: we won’t go until we get some! Not behavior exemplary of the Christmas spirit! The wassailers here could have taken a lesson from the polite supplicants in Soul Cake, where the residents of the house are asked for an apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry, any good thing to make us all merry, followed up by a blessing should the beneficiary of the song not have even a ha’ penny to give. (Not a Christmas song, by the way, though it has been adopted as such. Sting’s version is quite nice. Soul cakes were meant as offerings for the dead on All Soul’s Day. Children would go door-to-door begging for them.)

But,” you helpfully point out, “your recipe is for Fig Blondie Bars – not Christmas pudding.” Quite right and an astute and correct observation. But such is the working of my brain. Figs to fig bars to Christmas to figgy pudding.

Wishing you a very merry and blessed Christmas and a New Year healed of the pains and tribulations of the past twelve months. No demands, no menacing!

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Oil-free Fig Bars by Unrefined Vegan

Vegan Fig Blondie Bars

  • Author: Annie
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 Bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Ameriican
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This is my take on one of my childhood favorites: Fig Newtons. A generous, juicy spread of figs and applesauce is sandwiched between two soft cookie layers. No added oil.


Ingredients

Scale

BLONDIE LAYER:

  • 1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened nut butter
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FIG LAYER:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with parchment paper, or lightly oil bottom and sides.

Make the fig layer:

  1. In a food processor, combine the chopped figs and applesauce until it is nearly smooth. I like to have a few small chunks of fig, but process as much or as little as you like. If you need to, add a small amount of water to get the mixture moving. Set mixture aside.

Make the blondie layer:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. In a smaller bowl, combine the coconut sugar, nut butter, non-dairy milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  2. Scrape the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until thoroughly combined.

Assemble the bars:

  1. Spread half of the blondie mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Use moistened fingers if you have to, to spread it evenly.
  2. Pour the fig mixture on top of the blondie layer and spread evenly. Now spread the remaining blondie batter on top of the fig mixture. Again, use moistened fingers to spread it evenly. I like to leave a few spots open to expose the fig layer.
  3. Bake bars for 35 minutes, or until nicely browned on top and firm. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Keywords: blondies, figs, fig bars, bars, dessert

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Oil-free Fig Bars by Unrefined Vegan

Oil-free Fig Bars by Unrefined Vegan

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