Jam-Coconut Bar Cookies

A healthier (& allergy-friendly!) version of this dessert staple, yet still delicious!  

Bar cookies have always been a hospitality favorite of mine. When company stops by, it is simple to whip up a batch and pop it in the oven for a quick sweet treat.

This recipe makes it even easier to use what is on hand; you can vary the flours (making them gluten-free or grain-free, if desired), and it doesn’t even need milk or eggs (vegan, if you use the oil instead of butter)!

Jam-Coconut Bar Cookies
1 cup of Flour (You can use whole wheat, a combination of gluten-free flours*, or nut-meals)
2/3 cup Sucanat
1/2 cup Coconut Oil and/or Butter (Use either or a combination)
1/2 cup Shredded Dried Coconut (unsweetened)
3/4 cup Low-Sugar or Sugar-Free Jam (I use my homemade strawberry jam, made with Pomona’s Pectin or homemade spiced apple butter)
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Mix together flour, sucanat, coconut oil/butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla until crumbly. Line a 9×9″ pan with parchment paper or foil.  Firmly press half of the flour mixture into the prepared pan in a smooth layer, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

When done, remove from oven and let cool slightly. Sprinkle coconut evenly over the cooked crust. Then spread the jam evenly on top of the crust. Sprinkle the reserved flour mixture over the top of the jam, and press gently to form the top crust. Return to the 350 degree oven, and bake an additional 20 minutes.

After baking, let cool. These can be served slightly warm or at room temperature, but they will be less crumbly if you refrigerate them for at least one hour. (I highly recommend refrigerating if you are going to be packing them in lunches, but otherwise we have enjoyed them warm as well.) Cut into squares. These are delicious served with a cup of tea.

*I found this gluten-free mixture worked well:
1/4 cup Garbanzo-Fava Bean Flour
3/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
2 Tbl. Potato Starch

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