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.
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.]
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H
- Makes 12 to 16
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.
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.