Recipes / Fig Bittmans

Fig Bittmans

By Mark Bittman

Published December 11, 2023

You won’t believe how much better these are than the packaged versions most of us have eaten all of our lives. The fig filling is so simple but has an irresistibly caramel-like texture, and the pop of citrus is not only surprising but exciting.

Photo: Burcu Avsar and Zach DeSart
Photo: Burcu Avsar and Zach DeSart
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Make The Recipe!

Fig Bittmans

Prevent your screen from going dark

Makes about 2 dozen 1x

Time about 45 minutes, plus time to chill



  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces dried figs, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice


  1. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and the egg until well blended, then the zest.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until just combined. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour, until firm.
  3. Make the filling while the dough chills. Combine the figs and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the figs are soft, 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how dry the figs are. Drain and purée with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside to cool.
  4. Heat the oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into a long rectangle about 4 inches wide; square off the edges of the dough as needed to keep it relatively even. Spoon the fig filling lengthwise evenly down the middle of each piece of dough; fold up the sides of the dough around it and press gently to seal. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets, seam side down, for about 15 minutes, until the logs are evenly golden. Cut into squares while they are still warm. Store in a tightly covered container for up to 1 week.

— Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition