I've made jam bars before. For such a simple cookie, they are completely delicious! They are honestly one of my favorite cookies to eat. I have the most difficult time leaving these alone. I ate 4 of them just during the photography session! But anyway, the recipe on realsimple.com was for raspberry jam bars. I made 2 pans. In 1 pan I used raspberry jam and the other I used mango jam. I had never even seen or bought mango jam before, but it caught my eye when there was a good sale on it at Bartells so I had to try it. Jam bars seemed like a good way to use the whole jar at once. After I had assembled both of my pans of jam bars, I had the idea of sprinkling the top with shredded coconut. Wow! That was sure a good addition! I can't decide which one I enjoyed more but the combination of raspberry & coconut has always been a good one (Hostess Tiger Tails anyone?) But the combo of mango & coconut seemed so tropical and refreshing and it WAS indeed! Of course, this recipe with no coconut added is wonderful as is but I just wanted to try something a little different. I added a little notation down below, right next to the ingredient of lemon zest. I added about 2 TEASPOONS of zest and I still thought that was too much so I can't believe the recipe requests 2 tablespoons! That would be way too much! Actually, I don't think I would add it at all next time or if I do, I will add only 1 teaspoon.
Another nice thing about jam bars is that they are so speedy to put together. They DO take a long time to cool before you can cut them neatly but they require few ingredients and the preperation is just quick and easy.
So if you have any jars of jam you are keeping in the cupboard with no use in mind, try these jam bars. I didn't bother measuring the jam, I just used the entire jar of Smuckers jam. It seemed like the perfect amount. Next time I might try the sour cherry jam in these bars!
From Real Simple Magazine
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups quick oats, such as Quaker
2 tablespoons lemon zest (I think that 1-2 teaspoons is adequate)
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam (or any other flavor jam)
About 1-2 cups coconut if you desire
1.Heat oven to 350° F. Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until the ingredients are combined and a crumbly dough is formed. Add the oats and lemon zest. Pulse quickly twice to combine.
2.Press 2/3 of the dough firmly into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Spread the jam evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining dough over the jam, gently pressing down. (At this point I sprinkled the top with shredded coconut)
3.Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut into 24 bars. Store in airtight containers