Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fig Bars with Whipped Coconut Cream Topping

The minute I saw this post on Choosing Raw, I knew I wanted to make these fig bars. But for some reason, they've been sitting on my recipe to-do list for a while. This weekend I decided they'd make a good dessert addition for a dinner party. And I added my own special touch to them: a delicious whipped coconut topping.

Recipe adapted from Choosing Raw- another great one from Gena!
Makes about 12 fig bars

Fig Filling:
  • 12-14 dried figs
  • 6-7 pitted medjool dates
  • 2 Tbsp agave syrup
  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Oat Crust/topping:
  • 1 and 1/4 cup oat flour (you can make your own by processing oats)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut or safflower oil (I used scant 1/4 cup of coconut)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square or similar sized pan (I used 9 x 7).
  2. Make the fig filling: Put the figs in a small saucepan with just enough water so they are covered. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain out the water. Put the figs in a food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients for the filling (I chopped up my dates a bit before adding them). Process until you have a smooth-ish jam.
  3. Mix dry ingredients for crust in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients for the crust. Then, add the wet to the dry and mix well. (Note that my mix seemed a little wet after mixing these, so I about a quarter cup more oats; however, I think the topping came out a tad dry, so I would recommend not adding more than a Tbsp or two if needed). 
  4. Assemble the bars by spreading the crust along the bottom of your pan. Make sure you have at least 1/2 the crust/topping mix left after doing this, because you will use this on top too. Next, layer on all the fig filling. Finally, top with the remaining crust/topping mix. 
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden. Allow to cool before cutting.

I wasn't as absolutely blown away by these bars as I thought I was going to be, but they were good. 
I found the top a teeney bit dry, so I thought a whipped topping or ice cream would be an excellent addition. And I have to admit I just really wanted to make some vegan whipped cream for the first time! I googled and sort of pulled this version together based on a few different recipes, and added the melted vegan marshmallows since I had 'em (which by the way, have you tried Dandies? They are yummy!)

Vegan Coconut Whipped Topping:
  • 1/2 can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp of Dandies vegan marshmallows (a small handfull)
  1. Make sure you have stored the coconut milk in the fridge overnight before making this!
  2. Pour off any clear liquid from the coconut milk, and add about half the can to a bowl. (Note that I only used 1/2 the can since the clear liquid and dense white portion had mixed at the bottom; you only want to use the denser white part, so if yours has separated better, feel free to up the ingredients and use the full can, less the clear liquid). 
  3. Beat the coconut milk for about 1-2 minutes on medium-high with a hand mixer. Add in powdered sugar and beat for another 1-2 minutes until well blended.
  4. Melt the marshmallows in a small bowl in the microwave for only 20 seconds, until the marshmallows start to puff up and lose their shape. Immediately add this to the coconut mix and beat for another minute. Add cornstarch and mix again. Taste for desired sweetness and add agave syrup and/or more powdered sugar for taste. 
  5. Store in freezer for about 10-30 minutes prior to serving. *The longer you freeze this coconut topping, the denser it will become. Overnight, it becomes a yummy coconut icecream!
For hot, fresh out of the oven desserts, I'd recommend chilling it for at least 30 minutes (the longer-frozen, icecream version works really well with hot bars or crisps, since it melts a little and just goes perfectly). For cold items, you could serve it right after making it if you want a lighter, whipped texture.

    Yummy. The topping turned out really well - not overly coconut-y, very smooth, sweet, and decadent. I would like to try to make a lower-fat, healthier version of this topping in the future... but in small amounts, this coconut cream whipped topping is a really good addition to desserts!


    1. Your coconut whipped topping looks amazing- I have always (for reasons unknown) been intimidated to make my own coconut whipped cream- you make it look so easy!

      1. Thanks! It WAS easy! Give it a whirl...rrr- pun intended ;-)

    2. These look so good and they don't sound too complicated - I would probably have everything I need to make them right now except for the figs! I like how you transformed them from a portable snack to a fancy dessert with the whipped topping!


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