Dessert Man loves Trader Joes blueberry fruit bars and eats one just about every day.
He got some bad news last week, when he realized the cupboard was bare. He had eaten every last one. It would be a couple months until I could get to a Trader Joes again so we had to come up with Plan B.
Make our own.
We pumped ours up with some toasted coconut and almonds.
You want to mix crust with a fork until it becomes crumbly and sticks together when you push on it.
The crust is just moist enough to press easily into the prepared 8 in square pan. Lining it with aluminum foil just makes it easier to remove after baking and ensures nice, evenly shaped bars.
Because we are fans of peanut butter we had to try some as peanut butter and fruit bars, so we spread some out on half of the crust before adding the jam. The heat from the crust, made is very easy to spread.
After spreading the jam, the last step is to sprinkle on the toasted coconut and almonds. This is where you can personalize the bars to your tastes and add you favorite toppings.
Pulling the bars out of the pan by the foil gives you one nice square you can cut up into smaller pieces. I cut mine up into 16 pieces.
This is what we came up with. They are not exactly like Trader Joes, but very good. This bar has a very crisp crust versus their softer crust and ours is open faced. I keep our in the refrigerator I like them cold.
Blueberry Fruit Bars with coconut, almonds and peanut butter
1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup blueberry jam ( I used Polaner All Fruit)
1/4 cup peanut butter
Heat over to 350 degrees.
Scatter almonds and coconut on foil lined baking pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes until golden brown, stirring halfway through. Keep your eye on these, as they can burn quickly especially if your oven heats unevenly. I cook them in my toaster oven so I can keep an eye on them, but it can be done in the oven too.
Line 8 inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
Mix flour, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Stir in melted butter and mix with a fork until dough is crumbly and sticks together when pushed. Using your hands press dough into bottom of prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and spread 1/4 cup peanut butter over crust.(If you're a peanut butter fan, you can always add more.) The heat will help it spread evenly. Spread jam over peanut butter and sprinkle with toasted coconut and almonds.
Return to oven to bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for five minutes and remove from pan using foil as handles. Let cool to room temperature and cut into 16 squares.
At this point bars can be eaten, covered with foil and refrigerated, stored at room temperature, frozen, or any combination of these.
*inspired by Pam Anderson