How to Make Jam Bars, a Delicious Snack

These Jam Bars are quick and easy to make and are a delicious treat.

Are you ready for a quick and easy snack? These jam bars will do the trick! 

Those fig bar cookies in the store were my grandfather's favorite cookie. As a child I had an aversion to fig bars - probably because I had never tasted them and because you could see the seeds. Seeds in cookies? Eeww.

But one day I was craving a cookie and that's all that Grandmother had in the cookie jar. So I ate one. It wasn't bad after all... in a pinch, anyway. I still wasn't crazy about the dough, but the concept was good.

Many years later, I looked at the many jars of jam in my cupboard that needed to be used up. I usually make jelly and jam every other year, allowing two years for it all to be consumed. This is the year I should be making more jam, but I still have lots on the shelf.

So I thought I'd try putting some jam in a bar cookie, sort of like those fig bars. Much easier though, since you don't have to make a dough and wrap the filling inside. Uncomplicated and easy. And delicious.

A jar of Spiced Caramel Pear Jam

This "dough" - the cookie-crust part - is made with flour, oats and brown sugar plus a few additional ingredients.

The oats in the cookie-crust give it a substantial and delicious structure.

Use any jam or preserves

And the jam filling... oh, the jam! You can use any kind you have on hand. Can you imagine apricot jam bars? Or raspberry jam bars? Delicious!

I used a little eight-ounce jar of my Spiced Caramel Pear Jam, made with pears given to us by a friend. I've been hoarding these cute little jars of deep sweetness, but this was a perfect reason to use some of this delicious jam. 

I warmed up the jam a little so that it was easier to spread it on top of the bottom layer; it can be a little tricky to spread the jam without dragging the bottom crust apart.

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Here's how they're made.

Jam bars, combining the dry ingredients.

Combine the dry ingredients.

Jam bars, cut the butter into the crust.

Cut in the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Jam bars, press the crust into the pan.

Put half of the mixture in the pan and press lightly with the back of a spoon to form the bottom layer.

Spread the jam on top of the crust

Warm the jam slightly, and spread gently over the bottom layer.

Top the jam bars with the remaining crust mixture.

Top with the remaining oat mixture and press lightly.

Jam bars fresh from the oven

Bake about 30 minutes until it's light golden brown. Leave in the pan until completely cool.

Jam bars

Cut into squares and serve to family and friends. They'll love them! I cut mine into small squares so they last longer.

Jam Bars Recipe

7/8 cup cold butter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
8-ounce jar of jam

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8" x 8" baking pan with butter.

Combine the dry ingredients (all but the butter and jam), and stir to combine. Cut the butter into small pieces and use a pastry cutter or fork to mix it in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add half of the mixture to the greased pan and use the back of a spoon to press it lightly so it will hold together after baking. Spread the jam gently over this layer. It helps to warm the jam just a bit so it's more spreadable. Jelly is often easier to spread than jam.

Top the jam layer with the rest of the cookie mixture and spread it evenly over the top. Again using a spoon, press it lightly together.

Place the baking pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let cool completely in the pan. Once cool, cut into small squares and serve. Enjoy!

Simple and quick-to-make, these jam bars are delicious!

Simple and quick-to-make, these jam bars are delicious!

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops


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  1. These look tasty Kathi and would be a great addition to our homemaking link up today if you want to join in :)

  2. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead8:34 AM

    Hi Jess, I was linking it up as you were writing that comment! Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Wow, these sound delicious! Just might have to whip up a batch this afternoon!

  4. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:32 AM

    I hope you do, Channon, they are super easy and very good!

  5. Kathi, these look great. I like the simplicity of the recipe. I think I will have to try them with some of our pear or peach butter. Sounds delicious. Thank you.


  6. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead2:34 PM

    I think they'd be great with pear or peach butter too, Fern.

  7. Anonymous4:09 PM

    I have made these before, like you, using my home canned jam and jelly and my grand kids love them. A good recipe to keep. Pat B.

  8. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:39 AM

    Thank you both for stopping by, Pat and Staci. :-)

  9. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:20 AM

    MmmmHmmm.... yummy!

  10. Thanks for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week. I also love that you write about a God-dependent life... That is a neat way of putting it!

  11. These sound fabulous! I have the same problem with jam... I like making it, but I always have too much!
    The kids would *love* these in their school lunches... Yes, I'm already starting to think about sending them back to school! ;)
    ~ Christine @ Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

  12. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead12:16 PM

    Christine, these would be awesome in lunchboxes!

  13. Delicious love these strawberry jam bars. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop. Pinning .

  14. These look absolutely delicious, Kathi! Thanks for sharing them at Simple Lives Thursday! :)

  15. A couple of the finished pictures look like they have raisins in them. Do they? This recipe looks similar to one I made frequently from More With Less cookbook i used to make frequently called Raisin Bars. The raisins were soaked, then cooked down to a thick paste. These look good. I will try. Thanks.

    1. Hi Val, no, there are no raisins. Those are just chunks of lovely caramelized pears - yum! The Raisin Bar recipe sounds delicious too.

  16. I'm thinking quick yummy breakfast if I reduce the sugar a bit. Sounds yummy.

    1. Ooohh, wouldn't that be good, Sally?

  17. I've got to admit, Those look awesome! Thanks for sharing

  18. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I make jam also and have a supply on hand. I am sharing this recipe on Facebook!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Carol!

  19. Your Jam Bars look fantastic, Kathi! What a great way to use up leftover jam, and I like the idea that there's oatmeal in them too. Thank you so much for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop. Hope to 'see' you again this week!

    1. Thank you, April. I'll be there, I always find new blogs and interesting posts at your hop!

  20. These sound so yummy my mouth won't stop watering!! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. They are! I hope you'll give them a try. Whatever kind of jam you have will make them amazing!

  21. Hi Kathi! These look so good and easy too! Thanks for sharing and linking up at Dishing It & Digging It :) We enjoy having you!

  22. These look mighty good! Thanks for sharing on the Cookie Exchange!

  23. A great classic bar! I love it! perfect for our Celebrate365 Cookie Exchange!


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