In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, figs, and brandy (or apple juice) over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Pour into a food processor and add the hazelnuts. Blend until smooth and thick.
*Cook's Note: To toast the hazelnuts: preheat a 350 degree F oven. Arrange the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.