Using kitchen scissors, trim stems from the figs and discard. Cut the figs in half. In a saucepan combine the figs, water and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the figs, uncovered, until the water is absorbed and figs are tender, about 25 minutes. In a food processor puree the figs until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg and pulse to combine.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently beat in the dry ingredients. With floured hands, gather the dough into a ball, flatten and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour, or until chilled enough to easily roll out.
Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough into a 13- by 9-inch rectangle. Trim the edges exactly with a sharp knife. Carefully transfer dough to a 13- x-9-9-inch buttered baking dish. Using a spatula spread the cooled fig mixture over the dough in an even layer. On a piece of waxed paper, roll out remaining dough in the same manner as before and place over the filling with the waxed paper side up. Peel the waxed paper from the dough and patch any tears by pressing dough together with your fingertips.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until edges are golden. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
Adapted from a recipe by Marie Simmons, A to Z Cookies
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