As many of you already know, I spend quite a bit of time each year in my home country, Canada. As much as I love Italy and Italian food, I can’t help but revisit some of my childhood favorites my mom used to make. Jam squares have always been a favorite and they happen to be one of the first cookie bars my mother ever learned how to make.
Jam bars offer everything: A shortbread crust, a sweet jam center, and a delicious brown sugar meringue topping. Of course, I put my spin on the original and make coconut jam squares. They are fabulous, and that is coming from someone who isn’t even crazy about coconut.
Easy Jam Squares
These delicious bars are made with simple ingredients and are very easy to make.
You can customize this recipe with different flavored jams. I like strawberry jam, but other sweet fruit preserves like apricot jam, blackberry, or raspberry jam are great, too. So, pick your favorite flavor to make it your own.
They’re a freezer-friendly treat, too. I can remember when my mother used to make these squares and then freeze them because you never knew when they would be needed. Back then, I would slip down to the freezer and I wouldn’t think twice about taking out a few, even if they were frozen!
Now I don’t even have to eat them frozen or wait till they thaw. They’re so easy I make them whenever I feel like it. Perks of being a baker!
The combination of the buttery shortbread crust, the flavor of the fruit center, and golden brown meringue topping are just the best. If you want a great cookie bar recipe, you need to give them a try.
- Room temperature salted butter
- Brown Sugar
- Strawberry jam or other berry jam, like blackberry or raspberry jam.
- Egg whites
- Brown sugar
- Flaked coconut
Make the topping first by beating egg whites in a medium bowl until they are stiff. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla. Mix well with a wooden spoon and then fold in the coconut. Set the mixture aside while you prepare the crust.
In a separate large bowl, sift the flour and salt.
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and then add the sugar. Mix the butter mixture well at medium speed and then gradually add the dry ingredients.
Once combined, spread the dough and pack it lightly in square baking pan.
Spread a thin layer of the jam over the crust. Add the topping over the top of the jam. Bake the jam bars in the oven at 325°F (170°C) for approximately 35 minutes.
Cool the jam squares in the pan before slicing them into bars.
I think sometimes the best foods are the ones that remind us of wonderful experiences we lived or give us the ability to produce amazing new memories that we will hold on to forever.
Store the cookies in an airtight container, in the fridge they will keep for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
They can also be frozen. Place in a freezer safe container with parchment paper between the layers. They will keep for up to 2-3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge, then bring to room temperature to serve.
For me, these coconut jam squares embed the essence of both, past and future memories. So give them a try and enjoy!
More of My Mom’s Best Recipes
Coconut Jam Squares
- 2 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 3/4 cup butter*
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons jam , strawberry or a berry jam is probably best
*I use salted butter, if you use unsalted then add 1/4 teaspoon of salt instead of a pinch.
- Pre heat oven to 325° (170°). Lightly grease and flour an 8×8 inch (20cm) square pan.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, add sugar, salt and vanilla, mix well with a wooden spoon, fold in the coconut, set aside.
- Whisk together the flour and salt.
- In a medium bowl cream the butter (beat approximately 1-2 minutes), add the sugar and combine well at medium speed, gradually add the flour mixture, when well mixed, spread and pack lightly in the prepared pan. Thinly spread the base with the jam. Cover with the topping and bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 35 minutes. Cut into small squares when cool. Enjoy!