Classic Jam Bars


During the pantry/fridge clean out, I found myself with an extensive collection of jams.  Between recipe development, splendid gifts and impulsive purchases, I had too much of a good thing.

Did I mention that I am the only person in my home that consumes jam?

Enter the jam bar, an easy, tasty treat that makes even a non-jam lover perk up.  I tried a few different recipes and the preferred version was from Cooking with Amy.

In my jam bar tests, I discovered that jam bars are best prepared in a square baking pan (a round baking pan might also work).  My attempts in a 9×13-inch baking pan were OK whereas the bars baked in a 8-inch baking pan were consistently superb.

Jam Bars are super easy and quite sturdy (ideal for those spring bake sales).  You make a rich, shortbread-like dough.  Most of it is pressed into the pan and the rest is sprinkled over the jam layer.  I feel like making up another batch as I type.  They are that good and that simple.

Pick any jam or preserves, store-bought or homemade.  Eschew jelly, as it will not work; save the jelly for PB &J’s or for glazing fruit tarts.

Jam Bars from Cooking with Amy
Makes 16 squares

1 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 egg
1 cup fruit jam or preserves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Grease a 9-inch or 8-inch baking pan.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the egg to form a crumbly dough. Press in 3/4 of the mixture onto the bottom of the pan.

Top with jam and evenly spread almost but not quite to the edges of the pan since the jam will spread as it bakes. Top with the remaining crumb mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes or until pale golden brown. Let cool and cut into 16 squares

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