Nut and Jam Snack Bars, Gluten Free

Hey folks!  We’re winding down this summer.  Last week, Girlfriend took her last camp–sailing.  She loves to sail and this camp lets the kids go out on the water on their own in little sail boats once they’ve been trained well enough to do so.  It’s so fun to see all the little multi-colored boats sailing around on the lake.  Such a perfect summer activity.  It’s a great camp to end the summer with.

This particular camp was only 3 hrs a day in the afternoon, so she didn’t need a full lunch.  The kids were asked to bring a snack in case they got hungry.  For this I turned to a recipe that I’ve been making for her snacks since she was about 3 years old.  I found the original of the recipe in the September 2003 issue of Everyday Food (one of my favorite cooking magazines!).  The original recipe calls for almonds, but it turns out that  no one in our family does well with almonds (tummy aches, bleh).  So, I switched to our very favorite nut, pecans (because I am a Southern girl at heart, don’t forget!).  They work wonderfully!  These bars are tasty and they travel well.  So, you can drop them in a kid’s lunchbox or a snack bag for treats on the go.

Also, this is another recipe in which you can use your favorite jam.  If you’re a canning geek like me, this means you can use your own homemade jam!   A few weeks ago, several members of the Canning Across America working group got together for an all-day Can-a-Thon.  We canned several recipes for cherries and apricots, including the apricot jam from Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse Fruit.  I’m telling you, this jam is amazing.  I absolutely fell head over heels for it and have been using it every chance I can get.  This is the jam I’ve been using in the snack bars this summer and it’s terrific in them!  Of course, any jam you use is going to be wonderful–just pick your favorite and get going!

Nut and Jam Snack Bars, Gluten-Free
-inspired by Everyday Food

Special Equipment Needed
-electric hand mixer is very helpful
-8″x8″ baking pan

1/2 cup (1 stick; 4oz; 115g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup (210g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (105g) dark brown sugar (you can also use light brown sugar)
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 large or extra large egg
1 cup (100g) chopped pecans (or nut of your choice)
1/2 cup (120ml) sweet jam of your choice
extra butter for greasing pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your baking pan with extra butter.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In a larger bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together butter and the 2 sugars until light and fluffy–about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. With a spoon, stir in the chopped nuts.

Press half of the dough into your prepared baking pan. Smooth top.

Spread your jam on top of the dough, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges (the jam will stick to the places it touches on the sides of the pan).

Evenly sprinkle the remaining dough on top of the jam and press to form a top layer.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes–until top is a golden brown.

Place pan on wire rack to cool.

Cool completely before cutting into bars.


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  1. Lisa says

    So simple and so delicious! I used extra pecans in the topping for one batch filled with bourbon peach jam. The second batch I left the dough plain on the bottom, used sour cherry jam in the middle and added 1 cup of dark chocolate chips to the top layer. I dropped the top layer on in tiny little pinches for a craggy/crumby texture with little glimmers of jam peeking through and baked them in 8 inch round tart pans with removable bottoms. Easy enough to whip up after work tonight – but still turned out looking very fancy schmancy! A real winner and a nice addition to our coffee break at work tomorrow!

  2. says

    I substituted 1/2 cup of millet flour for 1/2 cup of flour mix and used Earth Balance instead of butter. I used raspberry jam topped with some chocolate chips. Yum! Wonderful with a cup of tea.
    I might try this again with chopped apples for the filling.
    Thanks for the wonderful website, Jeanne.

  3. Michelle says

    I finally got around to making these today, and they are really good. Everyday Food is (was- sniff!) my favorite cooking magazine, and I looked longingly at this recipe every time I came across it. I make a few kinds of jam, and couldn’t decide, so I did half with apricot and half with plum. They were both great, so I will have to try the other flavors in the pantry. Thanks so much!

    • admin says

      Ana: Hm, I’m not sure about this. What you would be doing is substituting a liquid for a solid. Which usually means reducing the amount of liquid in the recipes. But, there really isn’t any other liquid to reduce other than the egg and you want to keep the egg. I would recommend doing some experimenting and see what works the best.

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