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Author Notes: Sweet tender shortbread (made extra moist with applesauce) topped with sliced fresh figs, a shortbread crumble, and a vanilla bean glaze. —Posie Harwood
Makes 1 pan
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 2 1/2 tablespoons applesauce
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons butter, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 figs (medium sized, fresh)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8x8 inch pan.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla bean seeds, salt, and cinnamon. Once mixed, add the applesauce and the butter pieces, and cut the butter into the mixture until it is crumbly.
- Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of your pan (press gently with your fingertips so it all sticks together nicely).
- Slice your figs into thin slices -- try to choose figs that are all the same size, so it will look pretty! (Well, who cares.) Lay the fig slices in rows on top of the dough.
- Crumble the rest of the dough over the figs. Press very gently to adhere.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes (the top will be golden brown when it is ready).
- Make a quick glaze by mixing together 1 cup of powdered sugar with a few tablespoons of hot water and 1 tablespoon of honey. You can omit the honey, or use another liquid sweetener, if you want to change the flavor profile slightly (try maple syrup, or brown rice syrup).
- Drizzle the hot water into the sugar and honey one tablespoon at a time until it has a loose, liquidy consistency, but still thick. You should need about 2 tablespoons of water. Drizzle this (artistically if possible...) over the top of the bars -- it's best to let the bars cool slightly before you do this.