Apricot Jam Bar Cookies

apricot jam bars  www.yourhomebasedmom.comA few weeks ago I was invited to lunch by a dear friend of mine.  She is getting ready to celebrate a milestone birthday and she wanted my help in planning her party.  I love a woman who plans her own birthday party!!   In exchange for my help she fixed me lunch – a delicious lunch!  Not only is Bev a wonderful cook but she has the magic touch when it comes to decorating too.   I could spend hours wandering around her house looking at everything.

For lunch she served a delicious salad with some yummy cheese bread.  For dessert she made apricot jam bar cookies.  During lunch we got talking about recipes, old family recipes and how much we love a hand written recipe.  Bev shared with me the history behind the recipes she had made that day.  I love this idea.  It really gives the recipe life.  I love knowing the story behind the recipe.

Of course I had to ask her for the recipes for the things she made for lunch!

On the back of the recipe for the Apricot Jam Bar Cookies she wrote the following :

“This is a recipe I copied from my mother before I was married in 1962.  I left the “oleo” here in the recipe for fun as you never see that anymore.  So you know this is an old recipe. All my mother’s family, who were all great cooks have “oleo” in their recipes.  We are from Ohio.  My family has enjoyed this recipe for 50 years.  Make sure Jim gets his share!” 

How fun is that!  Let’s just say Jim did not get his share!!

Apricot Jam Bars

I love this recipe not only because it is delicious but I love it even more because it came from my friend Bev and she shared the history of the recipe with me.

When is the last time you cooked from a handwritten recipe?  When is the last time you gave someone a handwritten recipe?  I have decided it is time to bring back the hand written recipe!!  Next time someone asks me for a recipe I am not going to send them to my blog – I am going to take the time to write the recipe down for them and share the story behind the recipe too.

I have shared with you before how much I love a handwritten recipe.  I love this Chocolate Meringue Pie for the same reasons as the Apricot Jam Bars – it is delicious and it is in my grandmother’s handwriting.

Family recipes and cookbooks hold so many wonderful family stories!  I will always treasure my mother’s first cookbook which she gave me for Christmas and I love it even more that she shared some of the stories behind the recipes like with the lemon meringue pie.

jam bars

 The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to use Apricot Jam – you can use your favorite flavor.  I have some cherry jam in my cupboard I am going to try next!

bar cookiesThe bars are made with a combination of flour, baking powder, brown sugar, old fashioned oats, and butter (or oleo!)

Apricot Jam BarsUse a pastry cutter to incorporate all the ingredients until it is nice and crumbly.

Apricot Jam BarsPress 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

Apricot Jam BarsThen cover with 1 cup of your jam and then top with remaining flour/oat mixture.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until nice and golden brown.

Apricot Jam BarsLet them cool a bit and then cut them into bars and then of course enjoy!

Apricot Jam Bars

What is your favorite handwritten recipe?  When is the last time you gave someone a handwritten recipe?

Apricot Jam Bars

Other bar cookies you might enjoy:

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Key Lime Bars

Dulce de Leche Bars

Sour Cream Apple Bars

White Chocolate Raspberry Bars


Leigh Anne


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Apricot Jam Bar Cookies
  • 1½ C sifted flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1½ C old fashioned oats
  • ¾ C "oleo" or cold butter
  • 1 C apricot jam or jam of choice
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, oats and brown sugar together.
  2. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  3. Pat ⅔ of this mixture into a 8 x 13 baking pan
  4. Spread with jam
  5. Top with remaining flour/oat mixture
  6. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes
  7. Cut into bars.
Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

Latest posts by Leigh Anne (see all)


  1. Irene says

    This recipe sounds exactly like something I’d love and have been looking for. I can’t seem to find the measurements though. Am I missing something? :)


  2. Michele says

    We have made this recipe for years. I received it from a mother of a friend at least thirty years ago who had cut the recipe out of her local paper after the apricot bars recipe won the blue ribbon at the county fair. What I like best about it is the fact that I always have the ingredients on hand. The bars can be made with other preserves, although apricot will always be our family favorite. If friends call and say they are dropping by, I can pop this mix in the oven with about ten minute prep time. The aroma of the butter and brown sugar and oatey goodness is something that always earns me brownie points with the guests, who are amazed that this treat could be made especially for them. This was a great recipe to share!

  3. Mary Lynn says

    I always hand write my recipes, either on cards or if it is too long, on a sheet of paper. I like the personal touch. These bar cookies look great. Always loved apricot. Can’t wait for the recipe. Thanks…

  4. Pam Stone says

    My mother passed away last year…I have her recipes, but would love to have had the history behind them. Thanks for sharing the small and simple things!

  5. Valerie A. H. says

    I love the senimental value of handwritten recipes too. I have handed out many through the years. Here is a recipe that my friend Kathy hand wrote for me back in the late 80’s. She was working in a little English tea bakery and wrote down this recipe from “The English Connection”.

    Chocolate Truffle Pie

    Beat until well combined and smooth:
    1 1b. cream cheese
    1 cup 10x sugar (make sure it’s 10x)

    Gradually add I cup whipping cream. Beat until fluffy. Add raspberry jam or other flavorings as desired (1 t. almond extract for plain truffle). Spread in baked grahm cracker crust.

    Melt 1 heaping cup chocolate chips. Stir in 1/2 cup margarine. Whisk in 1 cup whipping cream. Pour over cream cheese mixture. Makes 1 10″ Truffle Pie.

  6. nancy says

    Is the butter cold or at room temperature to “cut” into the mixture? Thanks. Going to store to get some jam.

  7. says

    I LOVE my handwritten recipes . . . with the stains all over them, and the words nearly unreadable at times. :) I use them all the time; and some of mine have “oleo” as an ingredient, as well.

    Last night, I used my Grandma’s Pie Crust Recipe to make my hubby’s favorite Apple/Blueberry Pie for his birthday.

    For Christmas, I made a beautiful HANDWRITTEN Family Cookbook for my daughter-in-law. I bought a pre-designed book that was designed so that you could use your computer to print the recipes. However . . . I decided to handwrite the whole book, because handwritten is just So.Very.Special. :) I want my grandchildren to grow up using “Grandma’s Recipes”, as well.

    We make many, many quarts of homemade jam every year. (A few years ago we had 10 of our children living at home, and we picked several hundred pounds of berries and put up 150 quarts of jam. Yes. QUARTS.) I think I just might try this recipe with some Raspberry Jam today.

  8. says

    Oh my….this does look wonderful! My mother always hand-writes her recipes! I love that she does it! I hope she’ll give me her recipe box one day! =D

    Thanks so much for linking up to the FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA Link Party!!! Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. says

    I have a few handwritten recipes from my mother that I cherish. I also just discovered this brand of jelly. The redcurrant is so delicious and Jacques Pépin said apricot is his very favorite. So I just have to try this.

  10. says

    What a delicious looking recipe! Love how easy it is also. Thank you for sharing with Foodie Friends Friday. Would love if you added a link back to our party! Please join us next week with another great recipe.

  11. says

    These look great. They would make a great grab n go breakfast during the week. Pinned so I can try them out sometime!

    Stopping by today from Pamela’s Heavenly Treats. :)

    Julie @ This Gal Cooks

  12. says

    I made these today with blueberry preserves and they were delicious! I love apricot though, so will try that flavor next time. I happened to have the blueberry on hand. Thanks for sharing!

  13. says

    These look delicious! I love family recipes. My mom showed me a TON of recipes that my great grandmother wrote out. I am still working through them all. Thanks for sharing with us at Real Housemoms for Fabulous Fridays!

  14. says

    I had to come over from Heavenly Treats Sunday when I saw your feature as well. These look amazing!! I just bought some fun flavored jams earlier this week that I thought would be perfect to try in a sandwiched cookie – but these cookie bars sound like an even better idea!! I am totally PINning this and hope to try it out within the next couple weeks! Thanks to you and your girlfriend Bev for sharing!!


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