My lovely home schooling group does fun culture days through the year. (Thank you Elary for the fabulous idea!) This one was a must: Mexico’s Day of the dead.
We studied the holiday and found out that Mexicans make foods that remind them of their kindred dead. We decided to honor my Grandad that day, and brought peanuts and home made fig newton bars. It was so tender learning about Grandad and sharing stories with my children for the children to share with the group. If you’d like, you can get to know my sweet, handsome ole’ Grandad yourself, here. I can’t watch it without tearing up…but he’s my dear Grandad. You might not be able to watch it without swooning, (young pictures) and smiling (old pictures.)
I could not find a you tube video on how to make the bars, and because both recipes I found, on line and in my cook book were a quite confusing to understand the instructions; I made my own you tube video!
To find out how to make this really quite simple snack if you do a few tricks (such as speed freeze your dough in the freezer by rolling it thin on a cookie sheet so it chills quickly), use parchment paper so your dough doesn’t stick, and learn the nifty folding technique, your soft chewy healthy bars will be unforgettable and undeniable. (You may or may not want that.)
See Recipe Below.
I enjoyed invigorating conversation with the mothers as always, and learned so much as these mothers read stories and shared relics and facts about the day.
One family honored their dear baby sister, and daughter, who had passed away a few years ago.
It was a wonderful day, and I am thankful for the new friends that I made. One of them is going to surprise her hubby with home made Fig Bars like his mom used to make! Knock his socks of Lindsay!
Home made Fig Newton Bar Recipe:
From “Naturally, It’s Better” by Erleen Tilton (I modified the instructions a bit, but the recipe itself is flawless, I thought! You could experiment with the 4 cups of flour with different blends for a nuttier taste, or fun texture, like put in 1/2 cup oat flour and the rest whole wheat flour, etc.)
2 lb. dried figs (approx 4 cups packed) (I used about half dried figs and half craisins)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 C. lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1. Put ingredients into your heavy duty blender and blend. I suppose if your blender isn’t heavy duty I would add some apple juice or something till it will blend for you. Chill while making cookie dough.
3/4 Cup honey
1 Cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 Cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt.
A. Mix ingredients.
B. Speed chill (Roll/press onto a medal cookie sheet and place in the freezer. It will need only about 1/2 to 1 hour.)
1. Gather your dough and divide your dough into 4 different balls. Keep balls you aren’t working with in the refrigerator.
2. Roll the first quarter of the dough onto waxed or parchment paper till it is 1/8 inch thick. You will want it to look like a long rectangle that is four inches, by however long (About 14 inches). You may trim it a bit so its a long, fairly rectangled shape.
3. Place 1/4 of the filling in the middle of the strip, and spread it evenly down the middle. Keep the filling atleast 1/2 inch or so from the long edges.
4. With the help of the waxed paper, bring both long sides of your rectangle one at a time to the center. Press and seal the edges so you have one long seam down the middle.
5. If you used parchment paper, you can bake it at 350 for about 15 minutes till barely browned. If you use wax paper, remove from the paper and place seam side down onto a lightly greased pan.
6. Repeat the process with each of your other 3 balls. When it comes out of the oven, allow it to cool about 10 minutes, and then with a pizza wheel, cut into bars about 2 inches wide for each bar.