Bready or Not: Oatmeal Fig Bars (aka Homemade Fig Newtons)

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast | 0 comments

These are like Fig Newtons, but better. They are thicker. Fresher. The top has the slightest crunch.

Oatmeal Fig Bars

This recipe is what happened after I thought I was buying dates to use for my breakfast truffles. It took me a few weeks to notice I really had figs in my cupboard. Whoops?

An awesome kind of whoops!

Oatmeal Fig Bars

I doubled the original recipe so I could use as many figs as I could. My immersion blender pulsed the fruit on the stovetop. Everything came together fast and easy. I used the double sided parchment-aluminum foil for easy clean up, too.

Oatmeal Fig Bars

These bake up with golden, crispy tops while the rest of the bar is dense and chewy. These things are hearty. They’d make for a good breakfast or snack for kids or adults, and I imagine they would even freeze well.

Oatmeal Fig Bars

I’m not sure how well they keep beyond a day, though. My husband took them to work and they kinda vanished. All that remained were crumbs and rave reviews.

Recipe doubled and adapted from Alida’s Kitchen.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Fig Bars (aka Homemade Fig Newtons)

Oatmeal Fig Bars

Make a large dish of delicious homemade Fig Newtons in under an hour! These bars have just-crispy tops and are chewy all the way through.

  • For fig filling
  • 2 cups chopped dried figs, stems removed (16 ounces)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • For dough
  • 3 cups oats (I used mixed rolled and quick oats)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, room temperature

In a small sauce pan, bring figs, water, and lemon juice to a boil. Simmer for several minutes until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and let it cool for ten minutes or so.

Use a food processor or an immersion blender to process the fruit unless smooth. Be very careful--hot fruit splatter is not fun! Set it aside to cool as you ready everything else.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 casserole pan with parchment paper and apply nonstick spray. Melt the butter and let it cool a few minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and eggs and stir until just combined.

Press half of the oat mixture into the prepared baking dish. [Handy tip: use a sheet of wax paper and a heavy glass to compress the layer.] Evenly spread the fig mixture to the edges.

Use your hands to compress the remaining dough into small discs and pieces, and set this on top as evenly as you can. Gently compress it again.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned at edges. Completely cool on wire rack.



Oatmeal Fig Bars

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Middle grade readers need extra love

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in anthology:story, Blog, kickstarter | 0 comments


I unabashedly love middle grade books, and I love that my beloved story “Red Dust and Dancing Horses” is going to be in the 2016 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. This is an anthology of science fiction stories for readers 8 and up, and it’s all about strength and diversity. Nancy Kress says it very well on the promotional video:

The Kickstarter campaign has just started. It’s very affordable to get DRM-free copies of the 2015 book and the new 2016 one, and the print books are included starting at $20. Do you have a middle grade reader in your house? Know one? Want to help out a library? Please check out the campaign and consider a contribution!

The fundraiser ends on September 26th. I’ll be sure to post on the progress!

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Sunday Quote heads home from Worldcon

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

~ Maya Angelou

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Hear Me Speak

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Blog, clockwork crown, clockwork dagger, podcast, public speaking | 0 comments


If you’re not able to attend my reading at WorldCon today, you can still hear my weird, raspy voice. I’m in the latest episode of the Skiffy and Fanty Show Podcast: The Wonders and Politics of Steampunk w/ Cherie Priest, Beth Cato, and Jaymee Goh.

It’s an interesting discussion. We talk about representation, whitewashing on covers, and some of the political issues around steampunk. There are a LOT of issues. We could have talked for hours on the subject, I’m sure, and as it is, the full broadcast is over an hour!

If you want to read my words instead, I talk about some books I recently read and enjoyed over at the What Writers Read. Particular favorites: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho and The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard.

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