Fussellette and her Hurler are in town again. Hurler is staying for good and Fussellette will be along permanently in January. Currently they’re staying with us so I decided to whip up some gluten-free fig bars from Serious Eats to feed to my guests and to take to my biweekly meeting at work. These cookies have a few more steps than a regular cookie, but none of them is particularly difficult or time consuming, so it’s worth it.
Start with your figs.
Take about 14oz dried figs and soak them in water for at least an hour.
Here is the underwater view of the figs starting to soak.
And the after-soaking underwater view. I just like taking pictures underwater.
Especially considering that this was going on outside.
Now let’s get on to the dough. In a bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup white rice flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum, and 1/2 teaspoon table salt. Set that aside and haul out your mixer.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup dark brown sugar.
Beat in 2 large eggs, one at a time.
Grate in a few teaspoons of orange zest.
Tip in your flour mixture and beat on low until well combined. Continue to beat on a higher speed until a nice cohesive dough forms.
Shape the dough into a patty, wrap it up and refrigerate it for at least two hours.
Now you can make your filling. Drain your soaked figs and tip them into a food processor.
I ripped off all the tough stems, which was an easy job with the softened figs.
Add in the juice of half a lemon and about 3 tablespoons light corn syrup, a dash of salt, 1/4 cup water, and pulse until your goo is uniform and you can pipe it like icing. You may need to add some more water if it’s not squishy enough.
You can store your fig goo in a piping bag but I scooped it into a Ziploc instead.
And then the sun came out. Briefly.
When your dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set out another piece of parchment paper on your work surface and dust it with some brown rice flour. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.
Roll out each segment into a rough rectangle about 10″ by 4 1/2″ and trim the edges (save the trimmings). Use an offset spatula to gently separate the dough from the paper.
Cut a 1/2″ hole in the corner of your Ziploc bag and pipe a few lines of fig goo down the centre of the dough rectangle (I piped three lines on each and ended up with a LOT of leftover fig goo, so be generous).
Fold the edges of the dough over the fig goo and seal the seam.
Place your fig/dough log seam side down on your baking sheet. I rolled out the trimmings into yet another rectangle and ended up with 7 logs in total.
Bake the fig logs for 15-20 minutes, until they are a light brown.
Slice them with a sharp knife into 2″ pieces while they are still hot, then seal in a lidded container overnight so they can sort of steam themselves until they’re a bit softer.
The next day you get lovely, cake-y, gluten-free figgy goodness!