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Figgy Squares

I originally was going to make fig rolls, and having trekked to the supermarket, got home, and consumed a pack of them I couldn't be arsed, not with the rolling part. I've made them before with mixed success. I had recently been reading a World War II ration recipe book I've had for ages and there is a recipe in there for fig biscuits. Inspired by the method for making the biscuits I thought I would apply it to my fig roll recipe. And here we are. Understandably the WW2 fig biscuits aren't as rich as these, given the shortage of butter and eggs at the time but I wanted to have a somewhat shortbread for the outsides of the sandwich. As for the filling despite being made from dried fruit it is rather zingy. Yes, zingy is my word du jour. The one thing I would say is that the dough for the biscuit is rather thin, don't sorry about it, these aren't meant to be huge slabs of biscuits but snackable, that way you can demolish all 16 before asking yourself how you got the situation you're in.

Makes 16

Hands-on Time 15 minutes plus soaking and chilling

Baking Time 25 minutes


130ml Boiled water

1 Teabag

150g Dried figs

50g Dried dates (stoned)

1 1/2 tbsp Lemon juice

1/4 tsp Ground mixed spice

1/2 tsp Ground ginger

25g Caster sugar

85g Unsalted butter (softened)

45g Light brown sugar

180g Plain flour

1/4 tsp Baking powder

1/8 tsp Fine salt

1 Egg yolk

2 tbsp Milk




Food processor



Mixing bowl

Wooden spoon

Sharp knife

Baking parchment

20cm x 20cm Square cake tin

Rolling pin.

In a bowl add the boiled water and teabag and brew for 5 minutes.

Squeeze the teabag out. Using scissors snip the dried fruit over the tea and leave to soak for 15 minutes.

When the time has passed pour the contents of the bowl into a food processor bowl along with the lemon juice, mixed spice, ginger, and caster sugar. Blend until smooth.

Transfer the mixture into a saucepan, bring to a bubble over a medium heat before reducing to low and leave for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the mixture back into the cleaned bowl leave to cool and then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

In a mixing bowl beat the butter and light brown sugar together until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and gently beat until combined. Finally, add the egg yolk and milk and mix until the dough comes together.

Transfer the mixture onto a sheet of baking parchment, cover with another piece and press down until flattened.

Pop the dough into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 170°C/150°C(Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3 when you’re ready to bake.

Remove the dough from the fridge and cut in half. Set aside one half on the worktop. Cover the other half with the parchment again and roll out into the shape of the tin, you can lift the parchment into the tin to see if the dough fits without needing to directly handle the dough.

When it just about fits lower it into the tin and remove the top piece of parchment. You can use the one on the bottom to line the tin. If you find the dough is too big in places and isn’t enough in others, use a knife to trim and patch.

Repeat the rolling process with the second piece of dough but keep it sandwiched between the parchment for now.

Take the figgy filling out of the fridge and spoon it onto of the dough in the tin. Spread it out evenly.

Remove the parchment from the second piece of dough. Flip and place on top of the figgy filling. Remove the other piece of parchment. Gently press it down and again trim and patch if need be.

Pop the tin into the oven on a middle shelf for 25 minutes until golden.

When the time has passed remove the tin from the oven. Immediately using a sharp knife cut divide the slab into 16 small squares. Doing this hot will ensure nice crisp edges. Leave to cool in the tin.

When cooled remove from the tin.



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