Back in North Carolina there is a little bakery by the beach that would blow your mind; whenever I got the chance I would head in and stock up on lots of delicious goodies. Now, usually something labeled “jam bars” would not quickly draw my attention (just not my jam, I suppose) however, luckily for me, they did happen to draw the attention of my dear friend Tiffany. Let me tell you, jam bars, well now they are my jam! I’ve been looking for what feels like an eternity for a recipe that would capture their simple, delicious essence, and I’ve finally got it! It’s not too sweet, and showcases the flavors of the jam, perfection.

Oatmeal Cookie Jam Bars {Gluten Free}
Not only are these super easy to make, and delicious enough to leave you dreaming of them, but they are also quite impressive sounding when you tell people the jam is homemade. Don’t start freaking out like, “Brooke, you didn’t tell me I had to MAKE the jam”, because jam is so easy to make! Promise. I made these with a strawberry fig jam, because that is what sounded good, but you could make whatever delicious jam makes you happy (I’m trying some version of blueberry next). If you absolutely do not want to make it, be sure to buy some good quality jam (no Smuckers jelly here, sorry!) or even better, find something at the local farmer’s market, still homemade.. just not in your home! So go on with your jam-making, bar baking, bad self!

Oatmeal Cookie Jam Bars {Gluten Free}

Oatmeal Cookie Jam Bars {Gluten Free}  (Print Me)

Strawberry Fig Jam:
1 lb fresh or dried figs (*if dried see below), cut into small pieces
1 lb strawberries, washed, stemmed & cut into small pieces
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Jam Bars:
½ cup rice flour
½ cup gluten free oats
½ cup almond flour
⅓ cup potato starch
⅓ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅓ cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon vanilla

For the jam:
Place sliced strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl and allow to rest for 20 minutes. When ready place strawberries and figs in a pan over medium heat to simmer, stirring often. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the jam has thickened to a nice consistency.  Set aside to cool.

*If you use dried figs, as I did, start by cut the hard stem off and chop the figs into very small pieces, place in pan with just barely enough water to start to cover the fig pieces, simmer for about 10 minutes until figs are very soft and water is absorbed, then proceed with adding the prepared strawberries and making the jam.

For the bars:
Preheat oven to 375ºF and line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over the sides, set aside.

In medium bowl combine rice flour, oats, almond flour, potato starch, sugars, salt, baking soda, xanthan gum, and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter and vanilla until mixture is crumbly.

Press just over half of the oat mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Spread enough of your prepared jam over the top to have a nice thick layer (I like my jam layer just over about 1/4″ thick). Sprinkle on the remaining oat mixture, do not pressed down.

Bake in prepared oven for 45-55 minutes until top is lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely then remove from pan by pulling the sides of the parchment paper, pulling the entire thing out. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Bars from: Recreating Happiness
Jam: See Brooke Cook Original

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