Thursday, December 15, 2011

Figgy Butter Tart Squares

These little bars are ooey gooey delicious.  They've got a buttery crust with a warm brown sugar fruit filling.  They're easy to make and totally customizable.  I love, love, love figs.  But, if you aren't a fan, use any other dried fruit in their stead (all raisins, apricot, plum, or cranberry would all be great).  Or, use walnuts or pecans (or half-half with fruit) for a butternut delight!
This recipe is adapted from Joy of Baking.  Cook time is about an hour,  but these squares are certainly worth the while!

Figgy Butter Tart Squares
Adapted from Joy of Baking

Crust -
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup flour

Filling -
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp brandy (you can use 2 tbsp if your fruit is very dry)

1/2 cup mission figs, chopped (to about raisin-size)
1/2 cup raisins (black or golden)

*Use any combination of dried fruit and/or nuts to make 1 cup (as a substitution for the figs and raisins called for above)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line an 8" X 8" baking dish with parchment paper.

2.  For the Crust: combine the butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat until creamy.  Add the flour.  Beat on low until the flour is just combined.

3.  Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are very pale golden.  Remove the dish from the oven while you work on the filling.

4. For the Filling: stir the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl.  Set aside.

5.  Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat until well mixed.  Add the eggs.  Beat until incorporated.

6.  Add the corn syrup, vanilla, and brandy to the bowl.  Beat until well blended, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

7.  Add the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

8.  Sprinkle the chopped fruit evenly over the warm crust.  Slowly pour the filling over the fruit.

9.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the filling is set.  Transfer the baking dish to a rack to cool completely.

10. Once cool, cut into squares.  The squares will be softer at room temperature and more chewy if chilled.  Serve!

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