Pecan and Strawberry Jam Mini Bars

During strawberry season, I prepared a few batches of strawberry jam. As with any jam that is prepared with a fairly small amount of sugar, it doesn’t keep as well as the sugar loaded jams. So, instead of waiting for it to spoil, I’ve decided to use some of it to prepare the following tasty mini bars.
To make things a bit more interesting, I substituted some of the flour in the dough with lightly toasted pecan, which added a nice nutty flavor. To make the dough more crispy and crumbly, I also substituted some of the flour with fine semolina.  A bit of cinnamon added another layer of aroma that worked so well with the fragrant strawberry jam.
The bars turned out very tasty and fragrant. Cutting them into mini size squares made it easier to serve them as part of a dessert buffet, but they can be cut into any size you prefer. Try them and enjoy.

Notes:
* I used homemade strawberry jam (recipe can be found HERE), but any good quality store bought can be used instead. For best results, lightly puree the jam, so it will be smoother and easier to spread over the dough.
* Any other fruit jam can be used instead of the strawberry.
* If you prefer sweeter bars, increase the amount of sugar in the dough to 1 cup, and use a sweeter jam.

Makes: about 40 mini bars, or according to your preferred size
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup semolina
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar (see notes)
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
½ cup lightly roasted shelled pecans
1 Stick (115 grams) butter, cold, cut into large cubes
1-2 Tbs half and half or milk
2/3 cup homemade strawberry jam, pureed (see notes) or good quality store bought

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line an 8×8” (20×20 cm) pan with baking paper.
2. Mix the semolina, flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and pecans in a food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade. Blend briefly, to form a crumbly mixture. Add 1-2 Tbs of half and half or milk, just enough to bind the mixture.

3. Transfer ¾ of the dough mixture into the lined pan, and press it with your palms, to form an even layer. Spread the jam over the dough and crumble the rest of dough on top.

4. Place the pan in the lower third of the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, until the top layer is golden. Holding the baking paper, transfer the bake onto a rack, to cool to room temperature.
5. Transfer to a large cutting board. Using a large heavy knife, cut bars any size you prefer.

Apple, Ginger, Honey and Golden Raisins Cake

The Jewish New Year is celebrated today, and this brings back memories of traditional foods, even to an agnostic such as me. One of the culinary traditions for this event, is to dip a slice of apple in honey, and eat it as a symbol for a sweet New Year. Plenty other sweet dishes are added to the table as well, in order to emphasize this hope for a sweet New Year. Continue reading

Yogurt Squares Variations with Fresh Fruits

I came up with my yogurt squares recipe almost four years ago (original post can be found HERE), and since then it became one of my favorite go-to recipes.
Created as a lighter alternative for cheese cake, it is made with yogurt and cornstarch as the main ingredients, making it also gluten free. It is very easy to prepare and makes for a great dessert anytime. Continue reading

Upside Down Cake with Nectarines, Plums and Cherries

If you follow this blog for a while now, you’ve probably noticed my fondness for upside-down cakes. The combination of buttery, caramelized fruit layer, with the tasty cake on top, makes me want to bake it again and again. Continue reading

Grape Galette with Almonds, Lavender and Maple

As much as grapes are popular in many areas of the world, they are not often used in baking. It is understandable when it comes to large, thick skinned grapes with seeds, but less so with smaller, thin skinned and seedless ones. When I found such ones, I knew I wanted to incorporate them in some kind of cake. Continue reading

Strawberries Buttermilk Swirl Cake

Strawberry season is here and the farm stand has abundance of fresh and tasty ones, full of flavor and wonderful aroma, so much better than the ones at the supermarket. Continue reading

Zucchini-Banana Muffins with Dried Fruits, Nuts and Chocolate Chips

Zucchini season is here and, once again, I bought too many. So I’ve decided to use them in some simple  and nutritious muffins. Continue reading

Rhubarb, Apple and Rolled Oats Crisp

Rhubarb season is finally here, and I was lucky enough to find some beautiful, fresh stalks to put into good use. Continue reading

Lemon, Poppy Seeds and Cornmeal Cookies

Lemon, Poppy Seeds and Cornmeal Cookies Ronit Penso

Due to another hectic week, I didn’t have the time to prepare a new post, so I’ve decided to re-post this recipe, from the earlier days of the blog. Many of you probably haven’t seen it, and those who did will hopefully enjoy a reminder for this tasty recipe. See you next week with a new recipe.
These thin and crunchy cookies, are perfect for a summer day: their fresh lemony flavor, combined with the crunchiness and taste of poppy seeds, goes great with cold iced tea or lemonade, with ice cream or sorbet. Continue reading

Spiced Red Wine Syrup with Fruits

Opening a bottle of wine and realizing it’s not as good as expected, makes one wonder what to do with it. It’s not bad or spoiled enough to throw it away with a clear conscious, yet at the same time, it’s not going to work as an enjoyable drink.
My usual solution is to add such wines to stews, but as I wasn’t planning on making any, I had to find another way to use it. So, I’ve decided to cook it down with brown sugar and spices, to create a tasty syrup. Continue reading

Multi Flour Lime, Banana and Mint Cake

This tasty cake started, once again, with a few ripe bananas that I needed to put into good use. Continue reading