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FIG BARS (Fig Newtons)

1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
Pinch of salt

1 (8oz) pkg. dried figs, stems removed, chopped
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon or orange juice
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

In a large bowl, beat together shortening, brown sugar, eggs and
vanilla until creamy. Add all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour,
baking soda, baking powder, orange peel and salt, beating until
blended. Refrigerate dough 1 to 2 hours. Prepare fig Filling;
set aside. To bake cookies, preheat oven to 375F (190C). Grease
baking sheets. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 14-inch
square. Cut dough into 4 equal strips, each 14 inches long and 3
1/2 inches wide.

Spoon 1/4 of Fig Filling in a 1 1/2 inch wide mound down center of
each strip. Using a long spatula, lift sides of each dough strip
over filling, overlapping slightly on top. Press edges together
to seal. Cut strips crosswise in half for ease in handling. Place,
seam-side down, 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Brush
off any excess flour. Cut each strip into 7 (1 inch) crosswise
pieces, but do not separate. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until puffed
and firm to the touch. Cool 5 to 10 minutes on baking sheets; then
cut apart and remove to racks to cool completely. Makes about 56
(2'' x 1'') cookies.

In a medium saucepan, combine figs, water, lemon or orange juice
and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring
occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until
thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool.


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