Layer Bars with Almond Butter and Strawberry Jam

Friends love these cookie bars that I make for holiday gatherings. I use almond butter for some added protein and add oats in the crust for their nutritional value and great nutty flavor. They're still a sweet treat, but one I feel a little less guilty indulging in.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: About 20 cookies
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Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying foil

1 cup creamy unsalted almond butter, stirred well

1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups rolled oats

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sliced raw almonds

One 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Using a stand mixer outfitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the almond butter, brown sugar, butter, baking powder and salt until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the oats and flour and beat until combined, another 2 minutes. The mixture will be slightly crumbly. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a medium bowl, stir in the almonds and reserve. Press the remaining mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Spread the crust with the strawberry preserves to 1/2 inch from the edge. Sprinkle with the reserved crumble mixture.
  4. Bake until the top is golden brown and the preserves are bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, then lift out and cut into squares.

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