Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fig and Cherry Sunflower Seed Oat Bars

Oh it's been so long since I've made a bar.  Why was I holding out on myself?  Bars are some of my favorite desserts! They don't feel decadent but, hello, these are packed with butter and sugar.  But it's still really easy for me to convince myself that these are healthy granola bars or something.  I'm so good at self-deception.

Even when I made the damn recipe by hand.

The minute this beautiful fig jam touched my lips, I thought "Fig Newton!"  Oh how I looovveee me a Fig Newton.  Growing up I always thought Fig Newtons were old people cookies.  In fact, I didn't even know what a fig was.  Literally no clue it was a fruit.  For, like, 15 years of my life.  

That sentence was just as painful writing it as it was for you to read it.    

I mostly thought figs were just a thing that existed in the cookie...?  Or something?  I mean if I'm being honest, I think I thought Fig was the name of the guy who made the cookie. 
Good news though- I know what figs are now.  Put the puzzle pieces together awhile back.

Oh, how could I forget to mention the sunflower seeds in this too!  Does anyone else find sunflower seeds to be almost meaty?  Like, in a hearty and satisfying way.  The crunch, the salt, the roast-iness.  Perfect to the balance the sweet figs and cherries.  Of course you could substitute the seeds for your favorite nut but just trust me on this one won't you?
I won't lead you astray.

Here's the recipe!

Fig and Cherry Sunflower Seed Oat Bars
makes apprx. 12-16 bars


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup salted roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fig jam or preserves 
  • 1 tbsp of water, if needed
  • 15 oz can sweet pitted cherries (in juice, not syrup), drained (or about 2 cups of fresh cherries, pitted) 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside. 

2. Prepare the filling in a small bowl.  Mix together the jam and, if needed, the water to loosen the jam a bit set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.  Stir in the oats and sunflower seeds to combine.  Make a well in the center and add the melted butter, egg and vanilla and stir until all dry ingredients are moistened.

4. Lightly press half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan to make an even layer. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the crust. Tumble the drained cherries over the fig filling, making an even layer.  Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture, roughly crumbling on top. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.


Recipe an Annie's City Kitchen Original
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