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+ servings
plum bars on parchment paper.
5 from 10 votes
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Plum Bars

These plum bars are layered with a soft and buttery shortbread crust and spiced plum jam! This recipe uses simple ingredients and is super easy to prepare. You are going to love these soft and gooey plum bars!
Servings 12 bars
Prep 25 mins
Cook 33 mins
Total 58 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams!

Ingredients 
 

Plum Jam

  • 3 cups chopped red plums
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chai spice
  • 2 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • cup water

Shortbread Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar packed
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Prepare a square 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Add the plums, sugar, brown sugar, and chai spice to a pot. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes or until they release all their juices. Use a masher to mash them. Continue cooking for another 8 minutes, or until the jam is thick.
    3 cups chopped red plums, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoon light brown sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon chai spice
  • Whisk together the cornstarch and water and pour it into the pot.
    2 ½ tablespoon cornstarch, ⅛ cup water
  • Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the jam is even thicker and paste-like.
  • Transfer the jam into a small bowl and place it in the fridge to chill.
  • When the jam is completely cool, make the shortbread.
  • In a stand mixing bowl combine the butter, flour, sugar, brown sugar, and salt on low speed with the paddle attachment until the dough is crumbly and in pea sized pieces, this can take anywhere from 3-6 minutes.
    2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup unsalted butter, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoon light brown sugar, ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C.
  • Reserve ½ cup of the shortbread dough and set it aside.
  • Evenly press the rest of the shortbread into the prepared baking pan.
  • Evenly smear the cooled jam on top of the shortbread.
  • Sprinkle the reserved shortbread crumbs on top of the jam.
  • Bake for 33-38 minutes, or until the top of the shortbread is starting to turn golden brown.
  • Let the bars cool completely on a wire rack.
  • When cool, place the pan in the freezer for 15-20 minute to harden. Then remove them from the pan and use a sharp knife to cut them into clean bars. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Notes

Step-by-step process photos are provided above, in the body of this post.
 
recipe tips
  • Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is highly recommended because it is much more accurate than cup measurements.
  • Let the plum jam cool. If you spread it on the shortbread while it's still warm, it will melt the butter in the shortbread.
  • Make the jam REALLY thick. It should look very similar to a paste. If the jam is too thin, it will not set properly and will pool out when you cut them.
  • Freeze them for clean cuts. For easy cutting, freeze the bars first for 15-20 minutes. Then use a sharp knife to cut them into bars!
  • Baking times may vary. All ovens are different and your bars may bake quicker or take longer than the indicated baking time. Look for the crumb topping to be a golden brown to know when they are done baking.
storage & freezing
  • Room temperature: Store the bars in the loaf pan wrapped in plastic wrap, or in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freezer: Wrap the bars tightly with plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container for up to one month in the freezer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 616IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg