Wham, Bam, Thank You, Jam!

No matter where you are, you are probably seeing hints of a changing season all around you.  The leaves are changing and transforming the landscape with their fiery reds, oranges, and yellows.  Geese and other birds are migrating.  The early mornings and the late evenings are getting a little chillier.  And, most of all, you notice that you are craving soups, breads, and other hearty autumn comfort foods that keep you cozy.  You’re probably also thinking of all the possibilities of what you can do with your apple, plum, and pumpkin crop.  I and many our friends are in the middle of candemonium, you know, canning everything from tomato sauce to apple butter at the expense of socializing to make the best of the harvest.  (My friend cancelled tentative plans with me because she was canning….I was in the middle of canning myself!  I have pretty awesome foodie friends.)  Well, now you have all this canned apple butter, and jam, and other preserves.  What do you do with plum jam or apple butter aside from eating in on bread?  Fill pastries with it!  I am not a huge eater of bread (well I LOVE bread, but I don’t usually buy it or bake it because it would be gone way too quickly…), so I choose to use some of my preserves in the form of a bar cookie that is full of flavor from a variety of fruits and nuts.  The cookie has a vanilla shortbread base, a layer of jam, and a dried fruit, pistachio, and orange zest-laced crumb topping.  YUM.  In the photos for this recipe, I used loquat jam that my boyfriend and I made last spring.  We had about 30 lbs of this fruit that is ubiquitous in Austin, TX.  It tastes like mixture between apricot and starfruit when fresh, and like a tart apple when cooked.

Image
These are loquats!

Because loquat jam is not likely to be on the shelf of your favorite grocer, you’ll probably try a different jam for your filling.  I love raspberry jam best for this recipe, but really, this is a great recipe with which to experiment.  I’ve made this once without the orange zest, replaced the pistachios with hazelnuts, added chocolate chips, replaced the apricots with cherries and had a layer of cherry jam.  Go crazy with the variations!  And now, for the recipe.

Image

Wham, Bam, Thank You, Jam Bar Cookies:

Shortbread:

2 1/2 cups unbleached pastry flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup soymilk

3 Tbsp flaxseed meal

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup Earth Balance soy butter

1/4 cup agave nectar

Filling:

1 pt of raspberry jam, or jam of your choice

Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup Earth Balance soy butter

1/4 cup agave nectar

Fresh zest of 3 oranges

20 dried apricots (I have also used 10 or 12 chopped dried figs for this recipe, but prefer apricots)

2/3 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped

1/2 cup unsweetened, dried shredded coconut

Preparation:

1)  Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

2)  Grease a 9 x 13 pan with Earth Balance.

3)  To make the shortbread, begin by combining flour and salt in a large bowl.

4)  In a small bowl, combine flaxseed meal & soymilk and let sit for a few minutes.

5)  Add softened Earth Balance, agave nectar, and vanilla to the flaxseed meal and soymilk mixture and whisk until well combined.

6)  Slowly add wet ingredients to the dry, stirring constantly until just combined.  Do not overmix.

7)  Flatten the shortbread dough into the greased pan, covering the entire bottom of the pan evenly.

8)  Cover the shortbread with the jam in an evenly distributed layer.  Set aside.

9)  To make the crumb topping, begin by mixing oats & flour in a medium bowl.

10)  Add softened Earth Balance, agave nectar, & soymilk to mixture and stir until combined.

11)  Add orange zest, chopped dried apricots, coconut, and chopped pistachios to mixture and stir until well combined.

12)  Crumble mixture over jam layer.

13)  Bake in 350 deg F preheated oven for 30 minutes.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s