Coconut fig bars bring the pleasure of a childhood cookie into an elevated afternoon snack. This moist California fig bar cookies recipe features a mix of flavors and textures that complement one another, and its triangular shape makes it welcome in holiday cookie tins too.
What Makes This Fig Bar Cookies Recipe a New Favorite
The base is a layer of buttery shortbread, just thick enough to support the topping of a chewy, almost candy-like layer that’s chock-full of coconut, dried figs, and sweet, earthy toasted pistachios, all formed into a cohesive topping with the help of an egg and a little maple syrup. Vanilla extract gives the topping a warm, round flavor and a pleasing aroma.
What Kind of Figs to Use
We prefer to make this recipe with Black Mission figs because they bring that familiar fruity sweetness reminiscent in the cookie bar from childhood with a deep flavor. Golden Figs have a delicately sweet and nutty taste to them that marries well with pistachios too, so they can be swapped in.
Tricks to Cookie Bar Baking
To keep the coconut fig bars from being sweetly cloying, we mixed ½ teaspoon of salt into the topping.
And we couldn’t resist a crowning touch: We dunked each cookie in complementary white chocolate, which also contributed visual appeal. We prefer white bar chocolate for the purest flavor and smoothest texture.
For this fig cookie bar recipe, you’ll use a foil sling, which consists of placing two long pieces of foil cross-wise into the base of the pan so you can lift up on cookie bars after baking and can easily remove them from the pan. Extra insurance consists of greasing the foil so the cookie bars release easily.
For the shortbread, the food processor is your friend. You’ll pulse the flour, butter, and sugar until the dough resembles wet sand. Then, you’ll add the fruit layer on top and bake until deeply golden brown.
Coconut Fig Bars
- 1 cup all purpose flour plus 2 tbsp
- 1 cup light brown sugar plus 2 tbsp
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter cut into 5 pieces and chilled
- 1 cup pistachios toasted
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and cut into 1/4" pieces
- 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 ounces white chocolate
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Make foil sling for 8-inch square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is 8 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.
- Pulse 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and butter in food processor until mixture resembles wet sand, about 10 pulses. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press firmly into even layer. Bake until light golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely in pan.
- Place pistachios in zipper-lock bag and tap them with meat pounder until crushed. Toss figs, coconut, and pistachios together in bowl, breaking up any clumps. Whisk egg, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, remaining 2 tablespoons flour, and remaining 1 cup sugar together in large bowl. Fold in pistachio mixture, then spread evenly over cooled crust.
- Bake bars until deep golden brown and set, 20 to 25 minutes. Let bars cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using foil overhang, lift bars out of pan. Cut into 9 squares and cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles.
- Microwave chocolate in small bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 30 to 60 seconds. Dip 1 corner of each triangle in melted chocolate and place on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Refrigerate triangles until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes, before serving.