I have a confession to make. Up until about 2 years ago, I was a chocoholic. I don't think a day passed without chocolate passing through my lips (and ending in my hips...). This love affair began when I was a little girl. However, one day my cocoa world came crashing down. A dreadful doctor informed my Mom I was allergic to chocolate. For years after that, my life was hell. If I was offered chocolate cake at parties, I was trained to say, "No thank you. I'm allergic to chocolate". With pity in their eyes, people would respond, "Oh that is so sad! I could never live without chocolate!" I was the oddball child who had the albino white bunny in her Easter basket while my brothers and sisters chomped away at their browned eared fudgy critters, faces smeared with all that goodness! What a nightmare! Eventually, I outgrew my allergy; my addiction was reignited, and all was right in my world again. Until about two years ago..
I don't now how it happened but I just don't crave chocolate anymore. Don't get me wrong. I still like it. I just don't LOVE it anymore. As most people know, I still bake a lot of chocolaty creations- I usually have a taste and share the rest with the lucky souls who happen to get their names drawn out of the magic cookie jar that day; resulting in pleasure for all.
Which brings me to the point of this post. What do I drool over now? Well, besides men in kilts (I'll save that for another day and another post!), I find myself constantly thinking about fruit desserts. Pies, cobblers, tarts- mmm, yum! When I bake with fruit, I am baking for me. So when my generous friend, Dianne, gave me some fresh figs from the trees in her backyard, I did a little jig in my head. I knew instantly that I wanted to transform the luscious, velvety orbs into Fig Bars *.
The bars are nicely balanced with the mild sweetness of the figs and the buttery texture of the oatmeal crust and topping. I thoroughly enjoyed eating a bar as I sat on my deck sipping tea and reading a favorite book. Chocolate? Nowhere in sight....
*Note- the recipe calls for 1 cup of shortening which I replaced with 1 cup of unsalted butter.