120g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup caster sugar
2 tbsp honey
1½ tsp vanilla paste
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon rind, finely grated
3 egg yolks
2½ cups plain flour, sifted
2 tbsp lemon juice
400g dried figs, chopped
¼ cup apple syrup
2 tbsp glucose syrup
½ tsp cinnamon
Using an electric hand mixer, beat butter, sugar, honey, and vanilla until light and creamy. Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and lemon rind and continue beating. With mixer still running, add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix in the flour and then the lemon juice. The dough should still be soft and tacky. Spoon the dough onto a piece of plastic film and wrap well, flattening dough into a disc. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
To make the filling, combine the figs, apple syrup, glucose syrup and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Spoon the fig paste into a pastry bag fitted with a wide nozzle. You could also use a clean plastic bag with a corner snipped off. Set filling aside.
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Lay another sheet of baking paper on a clean dry surface. Dust with flour. Lay the piece of dough on paper and place another piece of baking paper over the top. Roll the dough out between the two pieces of paper to about 6mm thick. If any pastry comes out the side it can be cut away and placed back under the paper and roll again. You should end up with a long rectangular piece of pastry. Take the top layer of baking paper away. Cut the dough lengthways into 3 x 8cm-wide strips. If the dough becomes difficult because of its softness, dust fingers, board and knife with extra flour.
Pipe a strip of the fig filling down the centre of each dough strip. Use a wet finger to pat the filling down into a flat, rectangular strip. Use a palette knife, or long thin blade of a knife, to lift one side of the pastry strip over the fig filling. Lift the other side of the dough to enclose the filling. Repeat with other strips.
Use your hands to shape and completely enclose the filling within the pastry.
Using the palette knife, carefully transfer the bars to the prepared baking tray. This may be easier by sliding the rolls off the baking paper on which they have been prepared, onto the tray.
Bake for 12 minutes or until the cookies have puffed up, are lightly browned and are firm to touch.
When the rolls are removed from oven, cut each bar into 2cm-long pieces. While still warm, transfer them to a plastic container with a lid. Seal the container tightly to allow them to steam slightly, giving a more cake-like texture. Keep at room temperature, in an airtight container for about two weeks.