Apricot Jam Bars / Bozo Bars

Recently my dear high school girlfriend, Abbie, and I were talking everything going on in our lives, even what we had served for dinner that night (you know, the best inspiration comes from friends!) and she mentioned she had made Bozo Bars with raspberry jam for dessert, much to her kids' delight. She found the Bozo Bar recipe in her much beloved UC Davis Coffee House Cookbook.

They sounded very similar to Apricot Jam Bars that were one of my husband's favorite treats his mom made when he was growing up. The recipe for these jam bars was included in a very special cookbook my sweet brother-in-law, Chris, created for my husband and me when we got married 24 years ago. Chris designed the cookbook cover, typed up each of the recipes inside and bound them together with binder rings. I have used this treasure of a cookbook often ever since he gave it to us because it includes many recipes that their mom, Marie, made for them growing up and I love that I get to carry on their family traditions with our kids.

Apricot Jam Bars

1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup apricot jam (or raspberry or strawberry- use your favorite!)

Mix dry ingredients together and then cut in cold butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture in a buttered 9"x 13"pan*. Spread the jam on top and then sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture and pat lightly. Bake for 30-35 minutes until light brown. Cool completely and then cut into squares. 
* I often make these in a 10½" x 15½"  jelly roll baking sheet, as pictured above, which makes the bars a bit thinner and bake for 25-30 minutes

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