This is such a great winter fruit recipe; much like my post on making berry swirl cupcakes in winter when fresh fruit is scarce using your favourite flavours of jam, these bars are as easy, if not even more so, to make in a jiffy.
For this version, I’m going to use up some amazing homemade jam made by a good friend of mine, which has been languishing in my cupboard waiting for just the perfect thing to make with it. These delicious oatmeal bars are an excellent method of using up more than one tiny pot of jam, or even several leftover jars that are hanging out in your fridge. Surprise your tastebuds today by making a multi-fruit oatmeal jam bar; go ahead, I won’t tell if you don’t.
Fruity Oatmeal Almond Bars
YIELD: 12-16 servings | PREP: 10 mins | BAKE: 25 mins
Note: this naturally vegetarian recipe is highly substitutable for different diet needs: it can be made gluten-free by using GF flour blend and certified GF oats, dairy free by substituting butter with coconut oil or DF block margarine, vegan by substituting the butter and confirming the sugar is vegan, and nut free by omitting almonds.
- 1 cup/125g AP flour
- 1 cup/85g old-fashioned oats
- ⅔ tsp/3g baking soda
- ¼ tsp/2g kosher salt
- ½ cup/13g unsalted butter, room temp
- ½ cup/110g dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp/10mL flavouring extract of choice (vanilla, almond, lemon etc. – whatever matches best with the jam you have chosen)
- 1 cup/320g jam, preserves, or curd
- ½ cup/46g sliced almonds or other crushed nuts (optional)
- 2 tbsp/25g turbinado or sanding sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Prepare an 8’x8’ glass or metal pan with parchment paper, with two sides overhanging for handles.
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking soda and salt) until well-mixed. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and flavouring extract until lighter-coloured and somewhat fluffy. Add dry ingredients mixture and combine until well-mixed. Reserve about half of this mixture and set aside.
- Press the remaining dough into the prepared baking pan into a flat, even layer. Bake in centre of oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove pan and carefully spread your choice of jam on top of the cookie base (for multi-flavours of jam, drop spoonful’s across surface and carefully spread so edges are touching.
- Sprinkle crumbles of the reserved dough overtop the jam in an even layer (it’s ok if there are small gaps). Sprinkle the sliced almonds overtop, then the turbinado or sanding sugar.
- Return to oven and bake about 15 minutes longer, or until the topping is golden brown. Remove from oven, place pan on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Do not try to cut while they are warm, as they will not hold together well.
- Once cooled, remove slab from pan using the parchment handles, and cut into bars (your choice of size) on a firm, flat surface.
These bars will keep well covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days.