Jam Bar Cookies {Gluten-Free & Naturally Sweetened}

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There’s a cute little co-op in my area that makes the best jam thumbprint cookies around.  The only problem is that the co-op is over half an hour away from where I live and I’m not willing to drive that far every time I want a good jam thumbprint.  You can probably see where this is going, lol.  I decided to try and replicate them at home (try being the operative word here).

The cookies that the co-op makes are called “Vegan Mixed Berry Almond Thumbprints” and their ingredient list reads as follows:  almonds, spelt flour,  brown rice syrup, canola oil, mixed berries, salt, cinnamon.  From there I came up with my version of the recipe, making a few adaptations to accommodate what was in my pantry (for example, I didn’t have spelt flour or brown rice syrup so I used other ingredients to replace them).

I made the dough, rolled it into balls, and so far so good.  Then I tried pressing my thumb in the center of the balls to create the indentation for the jelly, and the cookies literally just crumbled to smithereens.  After a few attempts I realized that there was just no way these cookies were going to hold their jam…so knew I had to improvise, and bar cookies were the obvious choice.

It’s like lemons and lemonade:  when life gives you crumbs, make crumble topping.  And that’s how these bar cookies were born.  They were so delicious this is a mistake I will happily make again.  Next time I think I want to try them with cherry jam. 

Jam Bar Cookies

(Yield:  8- by 8-inch pan of bar cookies)

1 c rolled oats

1 c almond meal/flour

1 c coconut flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 c honey

1/2 c canola oil

1 (10 oz) jar of jam (I used Polaner fruit-sweetened raspberry jam)

1/2 c almonds, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F; line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to drape over the edges of the pan.  In a food processor, process the oats until they form a fine powder; pulse in the almond meal, coconut flour, salt, cinnamon, vanilla powder, and baking soda until combined.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey and oil; mix the dry ingredients into the wet. 

Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, then spread the jam on top of the dough.  Use a fork to crumble the remaining half of the dough (so that it has a texture similar to crumble topping), then sprinkle it on top of the jam layer.  Spread the almonds on top of the dough, then use your hands to gently press down on the top.

Bake for 22 minutes; cool completely before cutting.

A Note on the Oats:  Oats are gluten-free, but if you have gluten sensitivities, you should be sure to purchase oats that are free from possible contamination while processing (such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats).

A Note on the Honey:  This recipe is easy to make vegan — just use a vegan liquid sweetener (such as maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or agave) instead of the honey.

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  1. says

    look at those MASSIVE hunks of almond! i’m so used to seeing sliced almonds or even slivered that i’m actually excited to see coarsely chopped ones–great bars!

  2. says

    Mmmm, a yummy healthy treat that looks wickedly high in sugars & all sorts of things…., but the recipe almost says its good for me…, that’s gotta be my type of feast :)

  3. says

    I’ve made your bars when I first came across your post and have to say they were GREAT. I’ve just posted the jam bars I make regularly based on yours, thankyou for the inspiration :D

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