Pumpkin Spice Jam Bars

I recently made a double batch of pumpkin spice jam from a lovely Kabocha squash I bought at the market, and I wanted to use it in my baking. I am a sucker for anything with oats and nuts in it so what could be better than a crispy bar cookie with oats and nuts sandwiching a layer of pumpkin spice jam? This recipe couldn’t be any easier as you do not even need a mixer. As long as your butter is room temperature soft, a wooden spoon or even your hands can be used to mix the oat mixture.

Although I used my pumpkin jam in these bars, you could use any quality jam of your choice. I’ve even made them with applesauce, and they were delicious! If you are using another variety of jam, skip the addition of the pumpkin spice. A little (1 teaspoon) cinnamon would be all right in its place. To make your own pumpkin spice mix, simply mix together in a small bowl; three tablespoons ground cinnamon, two teaspoons ground ginger, two teaspoons ground nutmeg, one and a half teaspoons ground allspice and one and a half teaspoons ground cloves. Store in an airtight container and use as needed. These squares are a great option to pack into a lunch for the kids, or to enjoy with a cup of warm cider on a cool fall day. I know many families struggle with what to pack in the kids lunches, and since these bars can be trown together in mere minutes, and are so easy to prepare, even the kids can get involved with making them.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2016

Pumpkin Spice Jam Bars

Ingredients:

  • 7 Ounces (1 3/4 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
  • 1 1/2 Cups All-purpose or Oat Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice Seasoning (See Notes Above)
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 (12 Ounce) Jar Pumpkin Spice Jam or Other Fruit Jam

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the butter, flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, salt, and spice mix until completely mixed.
  3. Press half the oat mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan with your fingertips.
  4. Spoon the jam on top of the bottom layer and spread evenly with a knife.
  5. Add the nuts to the remaining oat mixture.
  6. Crumble the rest of the oat and nut mixture over the jam to cover, then bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Adapted from Strwberry Oatmeal Bars by Ree Drummond