These are really easy to make and another project that kids could help with.
One major note – the jam is what truly shines in this recipe, so go out of your way to use a good one. I always pick up a few bottles of Danish fruit spread when I’m at JAX in Fort Collins. I love the unique flavors and because the jam is not boiled during processing, the fruit tastes as close to fresh as possible. I’ve made these bars with all kinds of spreads and my favorites are definitely strong berry flavors like lingonberry, raspberry, and blackberry.
The crust itself is a simple mixture including flour and almond meal, with butter cut in to hold it all together.
The crust is spread out in a large shallow baking sheet and then pressed down.
Jam is spread over the crust. Because this recipe makes so many bars, I choose two different jams and use each on just one-half of the pan. This is the blackberry jam. I used lingonberry on the other side.
The remaining crust is crumbled on top before baking.
And then the oven does the rest.
Once baked, the bars cool in the pan completely before being sliced into individual portions. The cutting and de-panning are incredibly easy; lining the pan with buttered parchment makes quick work of it.
The flavor of the jam I use is so intense that I opt to the cut the bars fairly small. The buttery crust also contributes to the richness of these bars, so a small portion is more than enough.
These bars freeze fairly well (although they are only good for about a day after thawing) and so the large yield doesn’t pose too much a problem. I think they’d be a fantastic lunch box dessert – you could make a big batch and freeze the individual bars, pulling one out of the freezer each morning and it will be thawed and ready come lunch time!