Streusel-Jam Bars with Chocolate
Yield: 32 bars
These are fun-to-munch, easy-to-make little bars, with the
good flavors of chocolate, jam, cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats
(among others). Bars of this type usually use semisweet chocolate
chips, and you can certainly do that, but I prefer the more
assertive flavor of a good bittersweet chocolate here. Because
they contain bittersweet chocolate, these would probably be
most appreciated by adults. They'd be perfect with tea or coffee
after dinner, for a snack, or if you have been elected to bake
something for a co-worker's birthday.
Experiment with different types of preserves here to see what
you like best. My favorite is a good seedless raspberry jam,
but other possibilities are strawberry, apricot, or morello
cherry. Just make sure to use a thick preserve--and a flavor
that goes with bittersweet chocolate! These keep well at room
temperature for a couple of days, if stored airtight, and they
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Tbsp. heavy cream
egg yolk, from egg graded "large"
cups all-purpose flour (stirred before measuring)
cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats (NOT instant oatmeal)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
cup well-stirred seedless raspberry jam
9 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (into
chocolate chip size pieces)
Adjust rack to center position in oven; preheat oven to 350
degrees F. Line a 13 by 9 inch pan (at least 1-1/2 inches tall)
with heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side up, so there is about
an inch of overhang on all edges (the exact amount isn't critical).
Fold the overhang back over the outside of the pan. Have ingredients
for filling and topping ready before crust is prepared.
Crust: In medium bowl, combine softened butter and brown
sugar. With large spoon, cream together until well-mixed. In
small cup, beat cream with egg yolk to mix thoroughly. Add to
butter mixture and stir in well. Add flour; mix in until blended.
crust mixture by small spoonfuls all over bottom of foil-lined
pan. With floured fingers, press to form an even layer on pan
bottom. Keep your fingers lightly floured as necessary (I end
up using both fingertips and the backs of my fingers to do this;
see what works best for you).
Bake in preheated oven just until outer edges are a darker golden
color, 8 to 10 minutes. While Crust bakes, put together the
For Topping: In clean medium bowl, combine oats, flour,
granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With spoon, stir to
blend well. Add brown sugar and mix in, pressing out any lumps
with back of spoon. Add softened butter. With your fingertips,
distribute the butter as evenly as possible into the oat mixture,
creating a streusel (you can also cut in the butter with two
knives until it is in fine pieces, or use a fork to help you
get it into the oat mixture).
When edges of crust are a darker golden color, remove pan from
oven. INCREASE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 375 DEGREES F. By small spoonfuls,
place jam all over hot crust. With back of spoon, spread jam
evenly to within 1/4 inch of each edge. Sprinkle chopped chocolate
all over jam as evenly as possible, again stopping about 1/4
inch from each edge of crust. Sprinkle topping over all of crust
as evenly as possible.
Return pan to oven. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees F,
until edges are slightly darker in color and jam bubbles up
through topping in a few places. Remove to cooling rack. Cool
completely before cutting into bars.
To cut, you'll need a large, sharp, heavy, straight-edged knife.
Trim about 1/4 inch from each edge before cutting into the cookies
into bars. Store airtight at room temperature up to two or three
days, or freeze for longer storage.
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