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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.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Kathy Hegstrom says:

    Can a healthier oil such as coconut, avocado or olive oil be used in place of the canola oil?

    1. Kathy, Yes, definitely! I would recommend using avocado oil, or melted coconut oil, or light olive oil. Hope you enjoy the cookies if you decide to give them a try!

  2. 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

  3. I missed this one but thankfully caught it now that I’m getting through my backlogged emails. Looks incredible, girl!

  4. Great job improvising. I’ll bet these bars would rival the thumbprint cookies any day.


  5. These sound amazing! Such a hearty treat. I could likely pull them off as a pre or post run snack. I may give them a try with virgin coconut oil and some of the jam I made this summer.

  6. 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 :)

  7. Mmmm, a yummy healthy treat that looks wickedly high in sugars & all sorts of things…., my type of feast :)

  8. Love that there are no refined sugars in these treats. My kind of snack Faith. These bars can be enjoyed anytime of day – very healthy. Love almond meal in sweets and savories.

  9. 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!

  10. Excellent save :) These jam bars look amazing…love the chunky almonds in there :)

  11. I cant believe this!!!! How did you read my mind??? Just today I was thinking of making cookies with oats & coconut and you have given me a recipe.I m gonna make these tomorrow.Love Love oats in cookies.Thanks so so much!

  12. Yum, Faith! These look so delicious and healthy! You’re brilliant! :) I don’t know if there are any co-ops in my area. If there are, I have no clue!

  13. These looks so wonderful! The coconut flour is intriguing me since I have never seen no used it. Now I will have to give it a go. Great way to save this recipe! :)

  14. These look delicious! My cousin is gluten free, and I bet she would appreciate this recipe!

  15. These really do look wonderful and beg to be tried. They were a wonderful “accident.” Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  16. This is a MUST try for sure. Love the idea! Great photos.

  17. Heavenly Housewife says:

    These are chock full of yummy stuff. The cool thing is, I actually have coconut flour :D
    *kisses* HH

  18. I was just about to say “you could easily make these vegan is you swap out the honey” and then saw your note at the bottom, haha. Good minds think alike :) Glad you were able to create your version of those cookies!

  19. I think the best recipes are born through trial and error :) These look better than thumbprints anyway, promise!

  20. I think these are better than thumbprints Faith! More substantial and their deliciousness is obvious!

  21. Ohh…yes Faith…I truly believe that the best creations come from experiments and mistakes.

    These look incredibly like bars I would enjoy anytime…especially since almonds and oats are starring ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  22. I think this was a very happy accident! They look fantastic with the big chunks of almonds on top–I’d be picking those off every time I walked by, if I didn’t grab a whole piece! I’ve never baked with coconut flour, but I am going to look around your site for more ideas. So many tasty things here!

  23. what a delicious creation you’ve made here! I’m willing to bet yours are even better (and definitely prettier!) than the originals. Beautiful snaps of a winning recipe.

  24. oh my gosh these look so good. can’t wait until i can bake again :)

  25. Wow! These look fantastic! Right up my alley. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe…wonderful post!

  26. You had me sold just from all those lovely roasted almonds sprinkled over the top. These jam bars look so hearty and satisfying.

  27. Wow—these look awesome! I want them. Now. :)

  28. Oh yum! This could be for breakfast or a snack in my dictionary. :)

  29. What a wonderful mistake! Can you deliver some?

  30. awww boo! I’ll have to run out and buy a ton of ingredients just to make these… but I soooooo want them now! They look fantastic!! =) I know i’d instantly love them <3

    also, i'm a little nutso and will drive almost 3 hours to go to trader joes and whole foods! but I only do that every month or two! Its so worth the road trip! =)

  31. “When life gives you crumbs, make crumble topping.” I love it! That’s actually a great slogan to live by!

  32. Aint it sooo wonderful when goodness we crave for actually leads us to get so creatively delightful and come out with something even more better in the kitchen!
    yeah , its u am talking about coz u sure did absolutely wonderful here Faith and am sure these were better than the co-op cookies:-)
    Oh sure the cherry jam sounds wonderful and these will give u a healthy dose too!

  33. It is fun trying to replicate a recipe from the ingredients. I have tried a couple of times and I always end up with something different but it still tastes delicious. Looks like you have done the same thing, think I my just try this recipe they look good. Diane

  34. As a scientist, it occurs to me oftenly that accidents and mistakes lead to great inventions and ideas. I just posted something similar where only the dried fruits are my source of sweeteners.

  35. It can be really tricky to replicate a recipe like that, but you can discover some terrific alternatives—like your bar cookie adaptation. all those tasty healthful ingredients! helps eliminate the guilt factor…

  36. To be honest, bar cookies are my cookies of choice to begin with. And these are chock full of such delicious ingredients!

  37. These look so tasty – and an added bonus that they’re made with such good ingredients. Very tempting :)

  38. Am in love with these healthy bars or cookies as you named them. Like the no egg and sugar free version.

  39. I was watching Michael Smith on Tv the other day – a famous Canadian Chef and he said honey was TEN TIMES as sweet as sugar. I find that hard to believe…. but, in my last cake I only used 1/2 cup like you in these bars, and it was sweet enough…
    not ten times, though.
    These looks really tasty!

  40. Haha! I love that, “when life gives you crumbs, make crumble topping”. These jam bars look delicious with the crumble topping. I love it when kitchen mistakes go right! Unfortunately not many of mine do…teehee.

  41. owwwww! What a beautiful recreation! I like the idea of a bar better than a cookie. Such a great ingredient list- I haven’t baked with coconut flour, but really want to.

  42. As they say most of the great inventions are a result of a mistake lol. These look quite good and tasty. I agree cherry jam would rule even more, a favorite fruit.

  43. Coconut flour!! I’ve been looking for an excuse to bake with coconut flour! :-) These look soooo scrumptious, too – the perfect excuse… ;-)

  44. Jam Bar cookies looks delicious Faith, i like that you didn’t add any extra sugar.

  45. Now..that is something I can eat for breakfast everyday without having to think twice :)
    They look positively wonderful!!

    US Masala

  46. I wouldn’t even know how to begin replicating a recipe but these looks really good!

  47. Healthy looking! those must be really good.



  48. It is always the best to make it at home. These bars look definitely so yummy! I love that you use just honey and jam for these. The almonds on the top make it more tempting for me. Could you please pass me some?

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