What's For Dessert: Blueberry Chia Jam Bars

So, it turns out I made a lot more fresh jam than I could reasonably eat myself. Jam bars to the rescue! While most baked goods are best eaten within a few days, I've found that these bars get tastier a couple days after baking, as the flavors really start to meld together. Not that they are at all bad on day one, however, particularly if you prefer a crisper texture.

If you didn't happen to make up a batch of blueberry chia jam featured in a post last week (why not?!), just go ahead and substitute in your favorite jam (and you don't have to limit yourself to blueberry, either). I also made my version gluten-free by using an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix. This recipe is quite forgiving and easy to make -- hallmarks of a good recipe in my book.

Blueberry Chia Jam Bars (printer-friendly version)
makes 9-12 bars

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (you can also sub in a gluten-free AP flour mix)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup butter, softened and cut into cubes
3/4 cup blueberry chia jam (or use your favorite jam)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper so that it overhangs opposite sides and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the cubes of butter and incorporate it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or your (clean!) fingers until it resembles large crumbles.
3. Reserve 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture. Then spoon the rest of the dough into the prepped baking dish. Use your fingers or a spatula to pat the dough into an even layer.
4. Use an offset spatula to spread the jam onto the dough layer, leaving about a 1/4-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle the reserved crumbles evenly over top the jam layer.
5.  Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing from the baking dish and cutting into bars.

(adapted from this Savory Style recipe)