1 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar (can be replaced with 1/2 cup honey, as I recall)
1/2 cup brown sugar (can also be replaced with 1/2 cup honey)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour (can be modified by replacing any amount of the ordinary white flour with whole wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
Cream shortening and sugars. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; eat well. Sift together dry ingredients. Stir into creamed mixture. Chill at least one hour.
On well-floured surface roll out dough flat. Cut out small rectangles about 4 x 5 inches. Spread fig filling on one half of rectangles; fold over like closing a book. Press edges together to seal. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about 10 minutes. (Using honey and/or whole wheat flour will make cookie softer, so do not remove immediately from cooling sheet. As fig bars cool, they will harden up. Also, watch time if using honey and/or whole wheat, as they will tend to cook faster. Honey/whole wheat also will look only brown around edges, not completely browned, when you take them out of the oven.)
Fig Filling: combine 2 cups finely chopped dried figs, 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or honey), 1 cup orange juice, and dash salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, till mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Cool.
Commentary: It's been a long time since I made these. I don't ever remember using brown sugar, so I either used all white sugar, or just honey. I think I've made them with all whole wheat, and with only part whole wheat. If I were going to make them again, I'd have to experiment a bit to get back in the groove. When I was making them frequently, I remember that siege's teacher at St. Richard's School went gaga over them in the school silent auction. (I had a plate of a dozen fig bars as our contribution.)