Come summer, I like making food that can travel well. The kind of cooking that allows for spontaneity and spur of the moment park meet ups or alfresco dinners with friends. As a natural introvert, I’m trying to set myself up to be more comfortable with asking people to do something on a really nice Sunday afternoon. If the food can be flexible and adaptable, I like to think it’s possible I can be as well.
To prepare for all of these impromptu picnics, I plan on having a batch of these bars in the freezer at all times between now and Labor Day weekend. They are a dream – crispy and kind of cookie-like, filling but not heavy. The right amount of sweet. I filled them with a homemade cherry rhubarb jam (I cleaned out the freezer!) but I think they would be amazing with a strawberry jam or apricot jam come late summer.
From Tartine All Day by Elisabeth Prueitt
1/2 cup/110g unsalted butter or coconut oil (vegan!), at room temperature
1/3 cup/85g smooth almond butter
2 Tbsp brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1 1/2 cups/150g rolled oats
1 cup/120g almond flour
1 cup/120g oat flour
6 Tbsp/90g granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp/340g jam
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
Sliced almonds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a 9 by 13-inch/23 by 33cm baking pan with parchment paper. Combine the butter or coconut oil, almond butter, and brown rice syrup or maple syrup in a large bowl and, using a wooden spoon, mix well.
Add the rolled oats, almond flour, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla and almond extracts, and cinnamon to the butter mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough into thirds. Press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and reserve the remaining one-third for the topping.
Stir together the jam, lemon juice, and salt and then spread the mixture evenly over the bottom crust.
Crumble the remaining one-third dough over the jam filling. If desired, scatter slice almonds on-top.
Bake the jam bars until golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes (push it a little bit, you don’t want them pale). Let the pastry cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
The jam bars will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days (or in the fridge, which is kind of nice too). Wrapped well, they will last for weeks in the freezer.