So Jason is a bit of a tri nerd and he loves his tri podcasts almost as much as he loves buying bike gear. Whatever.
Anyways, on one of these podcasts, someone mentioned fig bars, and all these other people started chiming in on how great fig bars are for bike workouts. Jason immediately asked me to make him some. And I was like, “uhh….but you don’t like figs or Fig Newtons?” And then he clarified that he wanted raspberry, cherry, or blueberry newtons.
So I set to work. The filling came readily enough, because I’d made it dozens of times. BTW, you can also do these with raspberries….just follow the cooking directions for the blueberry filling and reduce the cooking time by about 1 or two minutes.
The dough was much more of a challenge. I was picturing a nutty newton, but Jason specifically requested something with lots of carbs and as little fat as possible. So I couldn’t use almond flour at all. I tried using all oat flour, but the newtons came out gummy and gross.
I finally chose buckwheat flour mix, which satisfied the nutty flavor I craved, but is far lower in fat than any nut meal.
The results were addictively fantastic. They’re soft and sweet and pillowy and filled to the brim with a homemade blueberry jam that won’t spill over when baking.
The only part that’s kind of annoying is that the dough likes to be chilled…..but I chose to consider chilling time as study time, so I could learn and cook at the same time.
This recipe make as generous batch of 24, but I doubt there will be a single one left by the time Jason has his next long bike workout. What? I gotta fuel my studies somehow.
The dough calls for a banana as the wet ingredient. Do not, under any circumstances, use an very ripe banana --- the dough will be super sticky and very hard to work. Choose a just right banana --- not too green and not too spotty and brown.
- 14 oz frozen blueberries
- 8 dates
- 1 banana (1/2 cup purreed banana)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats, ground to fine flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Place the blueberries and the dates in a pot over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring twice. Uncover, lower heat to medium, and continue to stir for about 3-4 min. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree till smooth.
- Scoop the blueberry filling into a zip bag for easy piping later on. Store in the fridge.
- Liquefy the banana with brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- Combine the buckwheat flour, the oats, and baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt.
- Combine the banana mix with the buckweat mix.
- Chill the dough for at least an hour.
- Cut out 10 strips of parchment paper, 2.5 inches wide.
- Divide the dough into four equal parts, and shape into logs.
- Sandwich the logs in between two strips of paper, roll them flat (1/8th inch). Trim them up and roll the scraps between the remaining two strips of paper.
- Let them chill in the fridge again (the dough gets sticky fast), then remove the top layer of paper.
- Cut a 3/4 inch corner off of the ziplock bag where you've stored the blueberry filling, and pipe it down the center of the dough. I recommend keeping the dough strips in the fridge and only removing one at a time to pipe the filling on. Flatten the filling a little with a knife.
- Measure every two inches of dough and cut, then fold the dough over the filling.
- You can also fold, THEN slice, but I find makes for messier edges. Don't try to separate the cut parts -- you'll do that after baking, like a pizza.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and continue to chill the bars.
- Put the strips directly onto the baking sheet and bake for 10 min
- You can cut the bars right away (separate them) or wait until they've cooled a little.
- The bars will soften after a few hours, and this is when they start to get sooo good. Honestly, wait about two hours before taking a bite.
- Serve with love, makes about 24 bars. Keep in fridge in airtight container for up to 1 week.