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Christina from Dessert for Two Makes Our Recipe for Better-Than-Store-Bought Fig Bars
They were a hit at her neighborhood's block party, and they could be the hit at your upcoming cookie swap, too.
12-08-2017
America's Test Kitchen

Portable, fun to make, easy to gift, and open to countless flavor variations, cookies are everyone's favorite sweet treat. In the test kitchen's first all-cookie book, The Perfect Cookie, we've created a one-stop shop for every cookie recipe you could want, from simple side-of-the-saucer snacks like Shortbread Cookies to intricate treats like Italian Rainbow Cookies and holiday cookies like Peppermint Candy Canes. Each of the 250 recipes are kitchen-tested to not only work, but to exceed expectations every time. And with almost 25 years of experience baking cookies and bars of all kinds, we've also provided all the tips and tricks for executing perfect cookies every time.


 

Fig Newtons are one of the few packaged cookies we can get behind, but making your own is more than worth the effort. Just ask Christina from Dessert for Two.

"Words can hardly describe how much I love these," she wrote after preparing these figgy bars. "And I can sit here and tell you that they are approximately 1-million times better than the store-bought ones, but you won’t believe me until you try them."

Fig Newtons
Fig Newtons

For our homemade version of this cookie favorite, we made a bar cookie version with maximum fig filling. While fresh figs are hard to find year-round, we found that dried figs baked up just as well as fresh in our bars, as long as they got a quick pre-treatment. We rehydrated the figs using apple juice which gave us a slight sweetness and subtle flavor boost that highlighted all that the figs had to offer.

For complex flavor, we used whole-wheat flour in addition to all-purpose flour for the dough. While any type of leavener is an unusual addition to bar cookies, we found that ½ teaspoon of baking powder gave the crust a bit of the soft cakiness we love in the original cookie.

I really love this new cookbook of theirs, and I will be baking from it all holiday-season long!

"I brought these to our last block party in St. Louis, and I watched the Moms descend on them and offer bites to their kids," Christina wrote. "But just when I thought the kids loved them, another parent said the magic word and diverted all of the kids to the fire pit: 'S’MORES!' But it’s okay, because I saw the adults clean up the leftovers."

We may still have a soft spot for the store-bought cookies, but they're no match for our rich homemade version. Make these adult- and kid-friendly cookies the next star of your block party or holiday party. 

BOOKSTORE

The Perfect Cookie

We aggregate many years of cookie baking knowledge, breaking down key steps and recipe techniques in this comprehensive cookbook that features recipes for any cookie you can dream up—from favorite cookie jar classics to new and unique cookies, brownies, bars, and candies for any occasion.
 

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