Quick & Easy Jam Bars Any Flavor You Like
These jam bars couldn’t be simpler. A buttery, brown sugar oat dough is whisked together in one bowl (if you melt the butter in a microwave) and used for both the bottom and the top crust. Cherry jam and almonds have a natural affinity for one another, but you can also turn these bars into any flavor you like, with or without nuts – see Tips below. When choosing jams or preserves, look for fruit to be the first ingredient; there will be more fruit flavor, which is what you want, instead of just sugary sweetness. I used Crofter’s Morello Cherry Premium Spreadfor the ones pictured.
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant)
- ¼ cup sliced almonds, blanched or natural
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cherry jam
- Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Melt butter in large microwave safe bowl in microwave (or melt in saucepan on stovetop, then transfer to large mixing bowl. Whisk in brown sugar and extract until combined, then stir in flour, oats, almonds, baking powder and salt until mixture comes together.
- Press a little over half into bottom of prepared pan (you can eyeball this). Use the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula to spread jam or preserves evenly over crust. Crumble remaining crust over jam and use fingers to press into place as evenly as possible – it is okay if jam peeks out here and there.
- Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes or until crust is just beginning to color light golden brown. Cool pan on rack, then cut bars into 3 x 3 grid or in whatever size you like. Bars can be stored in single layers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To make these a basic Oat Jam Bar without the almonds, simple replace the almond extract with vanilla extract and leave out the almonds and increase oats to ¾ cup.
- Your choice of jam will make or break the recipe. We like to use either 100% fruit jams or jams with more fruit than sugar. For the bars pictured we used Crofter’s Morello Cherry Premium Spread. We also had great results with their Apricot; both organic.
- You can try doubling this recipe to bake in a 13 x9-inch pan, however we feel that the edges and the center do not bake evenly enough. If you really want to bake a bigger batch, try reducing the oven temperature to 325°F and watch the baking time.
- If you go for a larger pan, consider doing half the bars with one flavor jam and a different flavor on the other half – it’s like getting two recipes in one.