Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Fig Bar Bread (Muffins)

There are some recipes that are well loved family traditions.

The recipes are made routinely for special occasions (Christmas, b-days, out of town visitors) or any excuse for good eatin’ (how about just because it’s Tuesday?).  

They have come to represent comfort, enjoyment and quality time with loved ones all combined perfectly in mouth-watering deliciousness.

It’s fascinating how each family has its own unique set of food traditions and I’m pretty excited to share one of my family’s secret recipes which I absolutely love, and yes, I did ask my Mom first if it was OK.

Technically, this recipe is not so secret since it originally came from a magazine or newspaper way back when, and the name of said magazine or paper has been lost over time.  The point is that it was someone else’s recipe, perhaps even a family tradition which was shared with hopes of spreading the edible joy.

The recipe itself has been photocopied many, many times over the years and is ready to completely fall to pieces, but it is well worth saving.

My copy of the recipe was given to me by my Mom with her own little notes of improvement scribbled on it.  I have now added my own scribbles each time I’ve made it (and for the record, her loaves always taste so much better than mine for some reason!). 

Unfortunately, I haven’t mastered the art of changing an American recipe to UK measurements, and therefore this recipe is still pretty Americanised except for the obvious changes (ie: fig bar = fig roll).  I just hope this fact is not off putting and I hope that my UK friends are still willing to try making it.

Fig Bar Bread muffin & mini loaf slice

Fig Bar Bread
(makes one average loaf)

1 ½ cups of sifted all-purpose(plain) flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
½ cup milk(4 fluid oz)
1/3 cup cooking oil (just under 3 fluid oz)
½ tsp vanilla

1/3 cup brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
6 or 7 fig bars(fig rolls), crumbled, roughly 1 cup
(I always use a LOT more crumbled fig bars since i LOVE the streusel and prefer a LOT more then this recipe creates)

Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Combine the beaten eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring till well blended.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; cut in butter or margarine till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Mix in the crumbled fig bars(fig rolls).

Pour one-third of the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Sprinkle half the fig mixture over batter; pour another one-third of the batter into the pan and sprinkle remaining crumbs over. Top with the remaining batter. With a narrow spatula, swirl gently through the batter and crumbs to create a marble effect.  

(I prefer to leave a layer of the streusel on top rather than covering it with batter, but this is up to you)

Bake in 350 F oven for 50-55 minutes or till the loaf tests done. Let it stand in the pan for 5 minutes; remove from pan.

Cool completely on a rack.  Cut loaf into thin slices; serve with butter or whipped cream cheese.

(thin slices, eh? Pffft! Cut it into extra thick slabs, no question.)

Recently, I made a double batch of Fig Bar Bread, which created enough batter for one large sized loaf, two mini loaves and a handful of muffins which promptly fell to pieces when I impatiently cut them in half while they were still warm so that I could photograph them. Falling to bits or not, they were eaten straight away and tasted just like I remember...and giving me the strong urge to call my Mom.

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