Simple jam bars made with shortbread dough become fancy almond jam bars when you add almond paste to the dough and smear it with an exotic jam. It’s so easy. Chefs do it all the time. Make something completely normal but with an unexpected fancy ingredient or two — think lobster mac and cheese and truffled tater tots.
I can find all kinds of interesting jams at the supermarket, even lingonberry and fig preserves. And almond paste is the winning ticket to making any dessert recipe seem old world European. It’s definitely worth keeping a can in the pantry. These jam bars are simply a version of a workhorse recipe I always liked on the five-pound bag of Martha White flour, only better. Just regular old jam bars that are a snap to make…with a twist.
The added bonus is that the cut really nicely into bars. Cool completely first.