Oatmeal dark chocolate fig bars are the perfect end-of-summer afternoon snack.
Sometimes you are just in the mood for a bar dessert. Cookies and cake won’t do, but the dense crumb of a one-handed oatmeal bar fits the bill perfectly. I have been trying to make a fruit and oatmeal bar since the spring, with limited success until these. I tried oatmeal crumble rhubarb bars in rhubarb season and they were an utter fail, leaving me with a soggy and not quite sweet enough pan of bars. These oatmeal dark chocolate fig bars are definitely a success, and are customizable!
I love figs but haven’t been able to find fresh figs anywhere yet, so we use dried figs here to make a jam-like fig mixture. If this is too much work, skip the fig swirl mixture and just throw in chopped dried figs or fig jam. Chocolate makes everything better, so we introduce pockets of melty dark chocolate amidst the oatmeal bar and fig swirl. These would be delicious as just oatmeal fig bars or oatmeal chocolate chunk bars, if you remove one of the add-in ingredients, but I like to keep both for a more interesting bar. I also think the fig swirl helps trap moisture in the bar.
These save for a few days without getting too dried out. I love biting into them for an afternoon snack and getting bits of oatmeal crumble, mouthfuls of fig mixture and melty chunks of chocolate that blend with the fig.
Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Fig Bars
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup old fashioned oats
5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
¼ cup sugar
1 cup dried figs
1 ½ teaspoons hone
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional, can replace with more water or apple cider)
To make the fig swirl
Pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and simmer for 15-30 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the figs are soft and moist. Pour the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
To make the Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Fig Bars
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9″x9″ baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for an additional minute.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger. With the wet ingredients mixing on low speed, slowly pour in the dry ingredients until the ingredient are almost combined, but you can still see dry patches. Fold in the oats and chocolate with a spatula.
Spread the dough into your prepared pan and pour the fig mixture on top. Swirl the fig mixture and batter together with a knife. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bars. Allow the bars to cool on cooling rack before cutting.