Jam Bars

Jam bars. Just what the name implies—a collision of shortbread and preserves cut into bars. Sweet and crumbly and gooey and all around lovely.

Jam Bars

These jam bars are, quite frankly, the best jam bars we’ve ever experienced. They’re essentially a thick schmear of your favorite jam sandwiched between layers of crumb crust. During baking, the jam turns molten and the crust turns sweet and crumbly and you simply have to experience it to fully understand its wonderfulness. Thanks to the addition of coconut flakes and almond meal, the crumb crust has a lovely and sturdy texture and make a perfectly portable after-school snack, dessert, even breakfast.–Angie Zoobkoff

What To Do With Homemade Jam

Some of us who find ourselves compulsively making or buying fruit jam year round could relate to the author’s note on this recipe, which begins, “I can be a bit of a jam hoarder. It’s one of my favorite things to buy at farmers’ markets, and it’s my favorite gift to receive.” If you, like her, tend to hoard jam more than you tend to consume it, consider these lovely jam bars the solution. [Editor’s Note: These jam bars make just as lovely a gift as a jar of preserves. Don’t forget to hand write the recipe on a card and include it with the bars.]

Jam Bars

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes 12 to 16
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Ingredients


Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish or line it with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, flour, coconut, salt, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter with the brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg white and beat until well combined.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined, about 15 seconds. The dough will be pretty sticky. If you have time, you can cover and refrigerate the dough for about 15 minutes.

Dump half the dough over the bottom of the baking dish, using your fingers to press it into an even layer. (Buttering your fingers or using the wrapper from your stick of butter will help keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.)

Spread the jam over the surface of the dough, leaving a fraction of an inch or a half centimeter space between the jam and the pan so the bars won’t stick quite so much to the pan.

Top the jam with the remaining dough, using your fingers to make big crumbles of dough. The dough won’t cover the entire surface and that’s okay because some blobs jam left showing in between the crumbles is what makes this dessert so attractive.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the topping starts to turn deeply golden brown.

Let the jam bars cool in the pan and then cut into bars. The jam bars are best devoured the same day as the bottom crust tends to get a touch soggy if covered and kept overnight.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

My family loved these fabulous jam bars and gave them an 11 out of 10! What a great reward for the seemingly very little effort and time it took to get these into the oven. I used 8 tablespoons butter and added it to my stand mixer while cold right out of the fridge. It took about 5 minutes to soften the butter and mix the sugars together to create a fluffy texture. To save a bowl, I skipped measuring my dry ingredients into a separate bowl and instead I measured them directly into the bowl with the butter and sugar. Once the ingredients were combined they came into a heavy dough. The bottom layer seemed rather thin and I was tempted to use more of the dough for the bottom layer but I’m glad I didn't because I needed the other half of the dough to dot the top of the jam layer. I used Ikea Blueberry and Raspberry Jam—this was the first time I tried this brand of jam and it was really good. I avoided spreading the jam to the very edges which was a great suggestion otherwise it would have seeped out. I used dried unsweetened coconut flakes as suggested in the recipe, which are heftier than shredded coconut. The flakes added a lovely crunchy texture to the final product. I definitely will be making these jam bars again.

These jam bars came out the way the way jam bars are supposed to, but beware, they are very sweet. Since I don’t have a sweet tooth, the sweetness was quite noticeable to me. For someone with a sweet tooth, these are practically nirvana! The coconut flavor comes through a bit in the end and the almond comes through some in the texture of the crust. This made 12 regular brownie-size bars. There was only the tiniest bit of sogginess in the center pieces but not enough to be a problem. The pan was easily washed clean in hot soapy water. Almost all the tasters praised them. The sticky chewiness of the jelly portion was especially singled out for praise. Even someone who prefers chocolate to most other sweets was a fan. And the backwoods camper thought they’d be great for a camping breakfast.

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Comments

    1. Lee, we haven’t tried it this way so we can’t say for certain, but given that there is almond meal in the dough, I think it would be a nice addition and would work well with the flavor of the dough.

  1. I was craving something sweet this afternoon, and I wanted it to be easy and fast. So I pulled up this recipe. I’m not a coconut fan. I omitted the coconut and increased the almond meal to 75 grams. I used the last of a jar of cherry preserves. The cherry flavor goes well with the flavor of the almond meal. Because the Jam Bars are so sweet, I cut them into 16 portions. We liked them a lot. I’m writing this review primarily to distract myself from going into the kitchen for another bar! Well, that didn’t work. Maybe I’ll just eat a half…..

    1. Hah! I love everything about what you just said, BBSTX. Everything. Including omitting the coconut (I love coconut cream and coconut milk but simply don’t care for the texture of flaked coconut.) Many thanks for sharing your variations! I think I may have to give your version a try…

    1. Carol, that should be fine, although it will depend a little on your particular jelly. Jelly tends to be a touch more watery than jam so keep that in mind as you warm the jelly and make certain it’s not too watery still when you spread it on the crust. Also, the finished bars may be best consumed the day they’re baked as that extra water may make the crust soggy if allowed to rest for several hours or overnight.

  2. I made these today! Delicious! I bought some good strawberry peach jam, but wished I had used apricot for a bit of tang. The crust was amazing, perhaps a bit of almond flavoring could be included to enhance the almond meal? No matter– the dish is almost empty! Can’t wait to bake more of your recipes! Thank you.

    1. Wonderful, Michelle S! And yes, absolutely, if you care for a more noticeable almond presence, you can absolutely add a little almond extract to the mixture when you add the egg white. In my experience, a little almond extract goes a long way, so I’d start with 1/4 or, to be safe, 1/8 teaspoon. Love the way you’re thinking and look forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next! (We test all our recipes in home kitchens over and over and over before deciding if they’re spectacular enough to share on the site, so rest assured, you can make all our recipes with confidence!)

    1. Carol, it should be fine, although it will depend a little on your particular jelly. Jelly tends to be a touch more watery than jam so keep that in mind as you warm the jelly and make certain it’s not too watery still when you spread it on the crust. Also, the finished bars may be best consumed the day they’re baked as that extra water may make the crust soggy if allowed to rest for several hours or overnight.

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