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.

* 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

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.

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