3/4 cup butter, at room temperature (12 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
4 teaspoons vanilla
In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, make the filling. Bring the figs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to a low boil, stirring as needed.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes, occasionally smashing the larger pieces with the back of a fork and stirring. They will cook down and thicken with a jam-like consistency.
Remove the filling from the heat and cool completely. See Note**
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9 X 13 baking dish, then line with parchment paper or foil then butter the parchment or foil. Use plenty of butter.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar until it’s fluffy. Add the orange zest and eggs. Beat on medium until the dough comes together. Then stir in the vanilla.
Gradually incorporate the flour mixture with the mixer on low. The dough will be sticky.
Butter two “pan-sized” pieces of foil or parchment paper, measure 1 1/2 cups of the dough out, and roll or press the dough in between the pieces. This will be your top crust, so get it into a rectangle-ish shape if you can. Put it in the freezer.
Press the remaining dough into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes. It will be pretty and golden brown.
Spread the fig filling across the baked crust and then get the top crust out of the freezer.
Gently peel the foil or paper away from the frozen cookie crust and then place it over the top of the fig filling. Pat any stray crust pieces into place.
Bake for another 20-25 minutes. Watch it closely! The top will turn a nice golden color.
Let the whole thing cool completely in the pan, on a wire rack if you have one. Once cooled, lift the parchment (or foil) out of the pan and slice into squares.