If you don’t live in Milwaukee, I’m so sorry. You are missing out on a beautiful, beautiful thing. Alterra. It’s probably the best coffee I’ve ever had. Hands down, the strongest, smoothest, best blend I’ve tried. Once you’ve had Alterra you never go back. Starbucks becomes the McDonalds…wait no.. the Hardee’s of coffee shops. It’s just not the same once you’ve tasted the perfect roast. Recently, Michael and I were fortunate enough to move within walking distance of not one but TWO Alterras! The stars have truly aligned for us. Now, I can actually call it my neighborhood coffee shop! Needless to say, I have been spending a whole lotta time…and kinda, sorta… a whole lotta money there. Doing what? Well working on this here blog for one. My blog writing is often paired with a cortado and a cranberry date bar. Sweet, sweet love.
Now this cranberry-date bar, that I speak of, is that bite that almost steals all the attention away from my coffee. Almost. Michael generally craves these on weekend mornings and we probably spend far too much money on them. So why not make them?!
Now this recipe is not quite cranberry-date, but it’s a close one. I may actually like these bars more. Sorry Alterra. In this recipe, you stew the dried berries down in orange zest and then cook them blanketed by toasty maple-y oats. Ugh. Yes.
Now that will almost keep me from swinging by my coffee shop way too often. Almost.
Fig and Oat Bars
Adapted from wholefoodsmarket.com.
- Coconut oil (you could also use butter or a different cooking oil)
- 1/2 cup dried figs, cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup seedless raisins
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- Juice and grated zest of 1 orange
- 2/3 cup water, divided
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with oil and set aside.
2. Combine figs, raisins, currants, orange juice, zest and 1/3 cup of the water in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Set aside to let cool until just warm.
3. Pulse oats, flour, salt and nutmeg 3-4 times in a food processor to lightly blend ingredients. Add butter and pulse again. Add remaining 1/3 cup water and pulse to combine. Do not over pulse the stuff.
4. Transfer half of the oat mixture to your prepared pan. Firmly press the oats for a crust layer at the bottom of the pan.
5. Transfer the warm fruit mixture and almonds to the food processor. Pulse to break up the almonds and purée fruit. Spread fruit mixture over the bottom crust.
6. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top. Press it down to make sure it all holds together.
7. Drizzle maple syrup over the top and bake until cooked through and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Set aside to let cool, then cut into squares and serve.